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Serena, Konta Through At BNP Paribas Open

Serena Williams defeated former world number one Victoria Azarenka 7-5 6-3 to reach the third round at Indian Wells.

Serena Williams of the US celebrates her victory against Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni during their women’s singles semi-final match on day 11 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 26, 2017. / AFP / PAUL CROCK / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images)n

Williams, in her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open, needed more than two hours to get past her long-time rival.

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

Britain’s Johnanna Konta beat Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-0 6-2 but Dan Evans lost 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 to Stan Wawrinka.

World number 45 Konta won the first eight games and saved three break points when serving at 3-2 in the second.

Her 33-year-old opponent, ranked 27, spurned 12 break-point opportunities in total.

World number four Sloane Stephens made 32 unforced errors as she lost 6-3 6-0 to Swiss qualifier Stefanie Vogele.

Vogele needed just over an hour to dispatch the fourth-seeded Stephens and push her overall record to 4-1 against the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, will play Garbine Muguruza in the third round after the 20th-seeded Spaniard beat American Lauren Davis 6-1 6-3.

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Ola John is a Media and Communication Arts, Masters in view fellow, a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Abuja respectively, has been in journalism right from his school days. He was a sports broadcaster with Osun state Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC). He was Sports Editor, Daily Stream Newspaper A lover of grassroots sports development and golf. A strong support of Arsenal FC.

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