World No.1 Serena Williams has moved into the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters with a 7-6 (2) 6-0 victory over Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
In the opening set, the two-time tournament champion showed the effects of a six-week layoff since losing the Australian Open final.
She made 29 unforced errors and seemed completely out of a rhythm against Putintseva, who played aggressively and challenged every close line call.
Williams had to break Putintseva’s serve to force the tiebreaker and then finally began to impose herself on her 56th-ranked opponent, winning the final five points.
The second set was over in 24 minutes, with Williams making just four errors and winning 24 of the 30 points.
She’ll face Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine in the fourth round.