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Tennis Round-up: Stephens stunned, Serena cruises at Indian Wells

Last updated on: March 09, 2019 19:31 IST

USA's Serena Williams celebrates on winning the first set against Belarus' Victoria Azarenka during their women's singles second round match on Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, on Friday

IMAGE: USA's Serena Williams celebrates on winning the first set against Belarus' Victoria Azarenka during their women's singles second round match on Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, on Friday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Swiss qualifier Stefanie Vogele stunned World No 4 Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-0 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday while Serena Williams got the better of Victoria Azarenka to advance.

 

Vogele needed just over an hour to dispatch the fourth-seeded Stephens and push her overall record to 4-1 against the 2017 US Open champion, who committed her 32nd unforced error on match point when she sent a forehand wide.

"Obviously playing someone who you haven't done that well against in the past is a little bit rough," Stephens told reporters after the match, which was played amid high winds on a sunny day in the Southern California desert.

"It was windy but it was windy for both of us. I just didn't play a great match today."

Under the lights on the stadium court, Williams smashed 39 winners to defeat Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 in a rematch of the 2016 final, which the Belarusian won.

"I truly love her, she's a really good friend," 23-times Grand Slam champion Williams said.

"She's a fellow mom and a former number one, just like me.

"It's hard to play someone you're so close with but it's also really invigorating and cool."

William will play Garbine Muguruza in the third round after the 20th-seeded Spaniard crushed American Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-3 earlier on Friday.

Unseeded American Jennifer Brady defeated 19th-seeded Caroline Garcia 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 to book her place in the third round.

The 23-year-old Brady thumped five aces en route to her third victory over the Frenchwoman this year, setting up a meeting with 12th-seeded Ash Barty, who defeated Tatjana Maria 6-4 6-4.

Czech Marketa Vondrousova eased past error-prone Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-1 to book her place in the third round.

With the loss, 14th seed Kasatkina, a finalist at Indian Wells last year, is projected to fall out of the top 20 when rankings are next updated.

Second seed Simona Halep, Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, Britain's Johanna Konta, Belgian Elise Mertens and 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu all reached the third-round with straight sets victories on Friday.

Wawrinka comes from behind to advance at Indian Wells

Stan Wawrinka battled back to defeat British qualifier Dan Evans 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday as the Swiss continued his slow climb back up the world rankings after a disappointing 2018.

The World No 40's powerful serve was the difference on a sunny and windy day in Indian Wells as he won 83 percent of his first service points and fired down seven aces to beat Briton Evans, losing finalist at Delray Beach last month.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka saw his ranking go into free-fall following knee surgery in late 2017 and he finished last year as number 66 in the world.

The Swiss said he was feeling more confident after reaching the title-decider at last month's Rotterdam Open, his first final since the operation.

"It was great to make the final there and win those matches against the top players," the former world number three told reporters after the match.

"But every tournament is a new tournament. You need to start from the beginning," he added. "Today was a tough match against a tough player in tough conditions."

Next up for Wawrinka is Hungarian 29th-seed Marton Fucsovics, who the 33-year-old has defeated in two of their three career meetings.

Feliciano Lopez came out on the winning side of two tie breakers for a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) victory over Tomas Berdych in his first round match.

In a battle of two tour veterans, Lopez's 15 aces and sharper execution in the tie-breakers gave him the edge. The Spaniard will next play 12th seed Karen Khachanov.

American Steve Johnson, German Peter Gojowczyk and 19-year-old Australian Alexei Popyrin were among the other first-round winners on Friday.

Hewitt to replace Wimbledon chairman Brook in December

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) has said that Ian Hewitt will succeed chairman Philip Brook in December this year after being appointed vice chairman on Saturday.

Brook has been chairman of the AELTC, which hosts the annual Wimbledon Championships, for nine years and was involved in expanding the size of its grounds by the acquisition of the adjacent Wimbledon Park Golf Club in December last year.

Hewitt joined the club's committee in 2002.

"Ian's combination of business acumen and considerable experience serving on the AELTC Committee and as Chair of the Wimbledon Foundation ensures that he will provide the AELTC with strong leadership for the coming years," Brook said in a statement http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2019-03-09/2019-03-09_the_aeltc_announces_ian_hewitt_as_vice_chairman.html

"For now, we look ahead to continuing our planning for a successful Championships in 2019 and a seamless handover in December 2019."

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and this year's Grand Slam begins on July 1.

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