Williams sisters face off at Palo Alto tourney


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The Williams sisters have not played tennis since Serena defeated Venus in the Wimbledon finals. It must be tough to compete against a family member in most of the tournaments you play in.

"You know it's good because if she's not in the draw, then we're not next to each other and then it gets a little tough; we hardly ever see each other," says Serena. "But this is good, we get to see each other a lot."

This event was Venus' first professional tournament in Oakland as a 14-year-old, and her fondness for the Bay Area keeps bringing her back.

"This is where it all began for me, so many years ago," says Venus. "I've had a lot of success at this tournament and I love being back. It's been a while, but it's a good homecoming."

This may be the toughest draw this event has fielded in years.

"It is a tough draw, but that's what makes these tournaments really good," says Serena.

"We take every tournament really seriously," says Venus. "Once you win a title it's always yours, so that's what we're looking for."

Both love to shop, and the Stanford mall can be a distraction. Venus has no problems, but Serena is superstitious about shopping there.

"Every time I did it I've lost and every time I didn't I've won," says Serena. "So I'm going to try and stay away from the mall and just go after it, but I can do online shopping, I've won with that."

This sister act begins its run for the singles title Tuesday with their first round matches.

FUTURES MARKET: Which tennis player will win the 2009 Bank of the West Classic (held at Stanford University)?

LINK: Bank of the West Classic

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