Serena breezes into fourth round at Indian Wells

Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:17am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - Top seed Serena Williams made short work of Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, obliterating her opponent 6-2 6-0 in just 53 minutes.

Playing her second match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden after deciding to end a 14-year boycott of the event where she had suffered alleged racist abuse, Williams broke an error-prone Diyas three times in each set to cruise into the last 16.

Britain's Heather Watson claimed her first victory over a top-10 ranked player with a 6-4 6-4 upset of world number eight Agnieszka Radwanska, while third-seeded Romanian Simona Halep battled past American Varvara Lepchenko 6-1 3-6 6-1.

"Things are going in the right direction," Australian Open champion Williams said courtside after blasting five aces and an array of searing groundstrokes past an outclassed opponent.

"I was able to feel more consistent today and that really worked in my favor. I'm really glad to still be here and in the tournament. I love the support.

"I was able to relax today because I was able to do more of the right things and not make as many mistakes as I did in my last round."

The world number one made a nervous start to her opening match in emotional circumstances on Friday before battling past Romania's Monica Niculescu 7-5 7-5, saying later she had been overwhelmed by the standing ovation she received from the crowd.


Serena Williams (USA) during her match against Monica Niculescu (ROU) at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports