Stephens swatted aside by Vogele at Indian Wells

Stephens swatted aside by Vogele at Indian Wells

Stephens swatted aside by Vogele at Indian Wells

Sloane Stephens's struggles continued Friday as the fourth-ranked American fell 6-3, 6-0 to Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele in her opening match at Indian Wells.

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, who failed to make it past the tournament's third round previous year. "We got cold, both of us".

Williams, seeded 10th, has won 17 of 21 meetings with Azarenka, but the Belarusian won their most recent clash, in the Indian Wells final in 2016. The 23-time Grand Slam victor led 5-3 with a chance to serve out the first set before Azarenka staged a rally.

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka just played out one of the best games of tennis you're likely to see with Williams claiming the 7-5, 6-3 victory.

"She deserved to win", Azarenka said.

Williams needed just over two hours to close out the match in which she had four aces and nine double faults. "I was happy with finding my game, even if it's not a day that you can hit the ball and feel great".

Halep, who lifted the Indian Wells WTA trophy in 2015, improved to 5-0 against the Czech veteran, who has never taken a set from the Romanian.

No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, a finalist past year, lost to Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 6-1; No. 19 Caroline Garcia lost to Jennifer Brady 6-3, 3-6, 6-0; No. 27 Su-Wei Hsieh was beaten by Johanna Konta 6-0, 6-2; and No. 29 Mihaela Buzarnescu lost to Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2.

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

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 previous year, is projected to fall out of the top 20 when rankings are next updated.

No. 2 seed Simona Halep beat Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4.

Awaiting Halep is Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova, who upstaged 31st seed Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4 2-6 6-0.

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