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Serena Sets Up Halep Quarterfinal

World No.1 Serena Williams hit through some patchy play to reach her second straight BNP Paribas Open quarterfinal; up next is defending champion Simona Halep.

Published March 15, 2016 12:15

Serena Sets Up Halep Quarterfinal
Serena Williams

INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Top seed Serena Williams endured a few frustrating moments against a resurgent Kateryna Bondarenko, easing past the qualifier, 6-2, 6-2 at the BNP Paribas Open.

Watch highlights, interviews and more video from Indian Wells right here on wtatennis.com!

Bondarenko came back to tennis just over 18 months ago after giving birth to a daughter, but has been playing some of the best tennis of either of her two careers in 2016, reaching the Australian Open third round as she slowly creeps back to her former career-high of No.29.

"It definitely wasn't an easy match," Williams told Andrew Krasny during her on-court interview. "She's obviously been a good player in the past, and she knows how to play on big courts against big players. So, it was a good match for me."

In complete control through the first six games, the American lost serve a game from the opening set, and battled through windy conditions and some evident angst through the 72 minute match. In the end, she hit 26 impressive winners to only 22 errors, while Bondarenko hit 13 winners to 21 unforced.

"Regardless of whether it's windy, not windy, and you just have to be able to adjust. I always think things can be worse!"

Up next for the 21-time Grand Slam champion is No.5 seed and defending BNP Paribas Open champion Simona Halep; Williams triumphed in both of their 2015 encounters - including a tight two-set win in the finals of the Western & Southern Open.

Back at Indian Wells for only the second time since 2001, Williams said she's feeling the love from fans in the California desert, and hopes to be the crowd favorite come the quarterfinals.

"I want to scream back that I love you too - I'm not sure if that's appropriate - but I do; I love you guys, and thanks for your support."

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