Williams battles past Putintseva at Indian Wells

Serena Williams cruised through her third-round matchup with Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva courtesy of a straight-sets victory at Indian Wells.

The world number one had to battle through a tough first set, eventually prevailing in a tie-break, but swept Putintseva aside in the second to seal a 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 victory.

Williams and Putintseva were both broken twice in the first set as the Kazakh world number 56 looked to set up an intriguing battle against her highly favoured opponent.

She was ruthless in attacking Williams’ second serve, winning 59 per cent of points on her second return during the first set.

But any hope of an unlikely victory were ruthlessly put to bed in the second set.

Williams won 80 per cent of points on Putintseva’s first serve and the same on her second to break her three times and win the second set without dropping a game.

She moves on to round four where she will face Kateryna Bondarenko, who knocked off 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round two.

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