Serena resumes campaign at Indian Wells

The American world number one suffered a shock loss to Angelique Kerber in the final at Melbourne Park and hasn't competed ever since.

SerenaWilliams - Cropped

Serena Williams last played in the Australian Open final, in which she lost to Germany's Angelique Kerber.

Serena Williams returns to action for the first time since the Australian Open at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

The American world number one suffered a shock loss to Angelique Kerber in the final at Melbourne Park and has decided against competing since.

Serena ended her boycott of the WTA Premier tournament last year, and her sister Venus will do the same at the 2016 edition. A strong field is still present to challenge Serena on the hard courts in California.

Venus in form on return 

The 35-year-old Venus made a slow start to the season before winning the title at her last tournament, in Taiwan, in February. Venus is returning to Indian Wells for the first time since 2001, when her withdrawal from a semi-final against her sister was booed by fans. Talented Ukrainian Elina Svitolina is also in fine form, having won the title in Malaysia.

Pressure on Halep 

Aside from a semi-final appearance in Sydney, Halep has struggled in 2016. She must step up, however, after being crowned champion last year. Halep failed to win in Dubai and Doha, losing to Ana Ivanovic and Elena Vesnina respectively. Jelena Jankovic, last year's runner-up will also look to better her performance this time.

Sisters in same quarter 

Serena and Venus are in the same quarter of the draw, but it would surprise if the latter made it to the last eight. Venus will need to beat Andrea Petkovic and probably Halep to reach the quarter-finals. Kerber and Johanna Konta could meet as early as the third round.

Serena ready, Halep talks down pressure 

"No pressure. The most important thing is to be healthy, and when I'm healthy, I'm really happy," Halep said. As for Serena, she said: "I was ready to go in Australia and... and I’ll definitely be ready to go on Tuesday."

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