Serena Downs Azarenka To Reach Indian Wells Second Round

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INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 08: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates her women’s singles second round match victory against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 08, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images/AFP

Serena Williams defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 in a battle of former world number ones on Friday to reach the second round at Indian Wells.

Williams, seeded 10th in her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open, needed two hours and seven minutes to get past her long-time rival.

She took her record against Azarenka to 18-4, although the Belarusian, now ranked 48th in the world, had triumphed in their most recent prior meeting in the 2016 final on the same Indian Wells stadium court.

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“It’s hard to play somebody you’re so close to,” Williams said. “It’s also invigorating.”

Williams advanced to a third-round meeting with another former world number one, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who beat American Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-3.

AFP

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