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Indian Wells PHOTOS: Serena breezes into fourth round; Federer, Nadal cruise

Last updated on: March 16, 2015 10:02 IST
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Serena Williams returns a forehand

Serena Williams returns a forehand. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

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 Divas three times in each set to cruise into the last 16.

"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 favour. I'm really glad to still be here and in the tournament. I love the support."

The World No 1 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

Serena Williams of USA reacts. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Williams had skipped the showpiece event after winning her second title here in 2001, beating Kim Clijsters in a final marred by some spectators who booed and heckled the American and her family.

The heckling was in apparent response to Serena's sister Venus having withdrawn from their semi-final that year just minutes before the match, citing injury.

Heather Watson

Heather Watson of Great Britain celebrates winning. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

In other matches on Sunday, Britain's Heather Watson pulled off her first victory over a top-10 ranked player with a 6-4, 6-4 upset of Agnieszka Radwanska, the seventh seed.

The 22-year-old Channel Islander broke the Polish world number eight in the opening set, then stormed back from 2-4 down in the second to end the match after an hour and a half.

It was the first time Watson had taken a set off Radwanska, having lost in their three previous meetings, most recently in the second round at Indian Wells last year.

"I knew I'd have to play extremely well today, be patient and pull the trigger at the right time," said an elated Watson, ranked 43rd. "I think I found that balance very well today."

Eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia was ousted by Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 while 10th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova was sent packing 7-6, 7-5 by Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.

Roger Federer of Switzerland

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits balls into the crowd after his win. Photograph: Harry How/Getty Images

Roger Federer wasted little time easing into the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday but his fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka became the first big name to be sent packing at the elite men's event.

World No 2 Federer launched his bid for a record fifth title at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with a clinical 6-4, 6-2 victory over Argentina's Diego Schwartzman which lasted a little over an hour.

Seventh-seeded Wawrinka, however, was knocked out of the ATP Masters 1000 event, losing 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to Dutchman Robin Haase.

Spanish left-hander Rafael Nadal, a three-time champion at Indian Wells, also advanced in comfortable fashion as he demolished Dutchman Igor Sijsling 6-4, 6-2 in an evening match lasting just 72 minutes.

In other matches, 11th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov scraped past rising Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6, taking the climactic third-set tiebreaker 7-4, and sixth seed Milos Raonic of Canada eased past Italian Simone Bolelli 6-3, 6-4.

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