That’s the question on everyone’s mind, as Venus Williams continues her magical run in the desert on Monday afternoon against fellow American Christina McHale. Fresh off of her stunning second round upset of World No. 3 Petra Kvitova on Saturday night in Tennis Paradise, Williams will return to Stadium 1 as the center of attention.
Through two rounds at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, the 38-year-old Williams is channeling a vintage performance. After dispatching Andrea Petkovic in a tough first round matchup, she was faced with challenging arguably the hottest player in women’s tennis. Czech Petra Kvitova had made the finals in two of her first three tournaments this year, downing a host of top-flight opponents including Amanda Anisimova, Danielle Collins and Ashleigh Barty. While Kvitova was a leading favorite to win the title in Indian Wells, she was unable to get past one of the greatest champions in the history of our sport: Venus Williams.
Down early, Williams turned back the clock and rallied to win two consecutive sets and keep her dream alive in the desert. In her battles against both Petkovic and Kvitova, the 25-year tour veteran made an emphatic statement to the rest of the field.
Watch out, vintage Venus is here.
While the momentum will certainly be in her favor, she’s drawn another difficult assignment in fellow American compatriot Christina McHale. The 26-year old (who gives up a whopping 16 years of tour experience to Williams) will look to play spoiler on Monday. McHale, who owns one career WTA Tour title and has reached the third round of all four Grand Slams, will not be thrown by the moment. She’s been impressive since arriving in the desert, triumphing over Fanny Stollar and Vera Zvonareva in qualifying and Maria Sakkari and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the main draw. In three of those sets, she won 6-0 and effectively ended her opponents fleeting hopes of advancing to the next round.
In a massive step up in competition, she’ll look to do the same to Williams.
When the two Americans meet, it’ll be the first match they’ve ever played across the net from one another. While each is vying for the same goal in Tennis Paradise, that’s about all Williams and McHale have in common.
Tune in Monday to learn whether vintage Venus is truly here to stay, or if an American upstart ended her time in the desert.