The 23-time Grand Slam winner was meeting her older sister for the 31st time in their 22-year professional rivalry and got off to a dream start, breaking in the opening game and consolidating to take a 2-0 lead.

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After saving three double break points, Venus finally got on the board in her second service game, kickstarting a run of five straight games which went the way of the increasingly comfortable elder sibling. Serena stemmed the tide to make it 5-3, but could not prevent Venus from closing out the opening set.

Serena started the second set more secure on her own serve, dropping just four points in her first three service games and the pressure eventually told, as she took her third break point in a lengthy service game to move 4-2 ahead. The sole break proved to be enough and the younger sister had soon levelled the encounter.

The deciding set was a far cagier affair, with both players trading breaks in the opening stages before Venus moved within touching distance by breaking Serena to move 4-2 ahead.

But it was there that the 38-year-old took command, rattling off four straight games to seal her quarter-final spot with her second straight comeback of the tournament.

In the wake of the match, Serena said her main priority was building up fitness and paid tribute to her sister.

“I honestly didn’t come here to win, for the first time in my career. I just came here to get some matches and see what happens. I haven’t had this much time off since the baby. But now I’m just trying to get some rhythm and we’ll see what happens.

“I think [Venus] played unbelievable. She’s doing so good. I honestly don’t know how I was able to pull it out in the end. She fought well.”

Serena is one of two seeds still in the tournament, along with Ons Jabeur, who faces Coco Gauff in her quarter-final encounter in the other half of the draw.

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