Williams, Radwanska and Halep cruise into next round


Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep all moved into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on a day with few surprises. 

Two-time Indian Wells champion Williams defeated Yulia Putintseva, while third seed Radwanska eased past Monica Niculescu.

Niculescu (32) and Ekaterina Makarova (30) were the only seeds to depart, with the latter eliminated by defending champion Simona Halep in straight-sets. 


We saw six seeded departures from the women's draw on Saturday, but there was no such drama on Sunday. 

While Williams needed a tie breaker to secure the first set against Putintseva, the 34-year-old crushed her Kazakh opponent with a bagel in the second. 

Radwanska eased past Niculescu, however, losing just three games on her way to a 6-2 6-1 victory. 

Halep was in similarly dominant form in a 6-2 6-4 win over Makarova to continue her title defence, while the other top-10 seed in action saw Petra Kvitova battle past Johanna Larsson 6-3 4-6 7-5. 


Qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko came from a set behind to record a thrilling 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-9) win against fellow Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. 

Barbora Strycova was forced to do the same, defeating her Japanese opponent 3-6 6-1 6-2 after two hours, 14 minutes.


After being taken to a tie break in the first set, Williams said she had to find her inner tiger to overcome Putintseva.

"The first set was a little tricky, then I had to find my inner tiger, and roar," Williams said after her victory. And roar she did.


Top seed Williams will face Kateryna Bondarenko in the last 32, while Radwanska takes on Jelena Jankovic. Halep will battle it out against Strycova, and Kvitova will look to get past local-hope Nicole Gibbs.