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Thursday 21
March

Tennis

Williams advances with 'good friend' Azarenka's scalp

9th March 2019, 13:16 by Neil Foster

Serena Williams admitted it was tough to face "good friend" Victoria Azarenka after beating her in round two at Indian Wells.

The match saw two of the WTA Tour's mothers face each other in the Californian desert and it was the older of the duo who came out on top.

The American progressed with a 7-5 6-3 triumph in just over two hours and will next face Spanish former world number one Garbine Muguruza.

The pair have much in common and, after sealing victory, Williams confessed that it is always tricky to go up against an opponent who she gets on with so well.

"I truly love her, she’s a really good friend," Williams said of Azarenka. "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."

Elsewhere, world number four Sloane Stephens was an early casualty, losing in straight sets to Swiss qualifier Stefanie Vogele, but the news was better for British number one Johanna Konta.

The 27-year-old is through to the third round after beating Taiwan's Su-Wei Hsieh 6-0 6-2 and will go up aghast Dutch veteran Kiki Bertens for a place in round four.

Simona Halep was a 6-2 6-4 winner over Barbora Strycova and sixth seed Elina Svitolina came from a set down to beat Sofia Kenin 5-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.

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