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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Serena Williams cruised into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, beating up-and-comer Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-0 in 53 minutes.
Williams was bathed in applause by the half-full stadium court crowd in her second match since ending a 14-year boycott of the tournament. They booed supportively when the chair umpire ruled an apparent ace ticked the net on her second match point.
Williams waved her left arm dismissively toward the chair. She screamed in frustration when her backhand error wasted a second match point and forced deuce. The world's top-ranked women's player closed it out on her third match point when Diyas' backhand sailed long.
Diyas was making her debut at Indian Wells and fell to 2-9 against top 10 players in her young career. She improved her ranking by 129 spots last year and is currently No. 32.
Next up for Williams is either two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova or fellow American Sloane Stephens, who played later.