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Serena, Halep win; Stephens ousted at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Serena Williams beat Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-3 in just over two hours in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night.

Both players returned from maternity leave a year ago at the desert tournament. Since then, Williams has reached two Grand Slam finals and returned to the world’s top 10.

Azarenka is still seeking to restore order in her personal life, having been involved in a legal tussle over her young son.

Williams needed just over two hours to close out the match in which she had four aces and nine double faults. She saved 11 of 15 break points.

Earlier, Sloane Stephens lost to Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 6-3, 6-0 in just over an hour.

The fourth-seeded American committed 32 unforced errors while Voegele had four aces playing in windy conditions. Voegele improved to 4-1 against the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

No. 2 seed Simona Halep beat Barbora Strycova 6-2, 6-4. Other seeded winners were: No. 12 Ashleigh Barty, No. 20 Garbine Muguruza, No. 22 Jelana Ostapenko, and No. 18 Qiang Wang.

Stephens wasn’t the only seed to be ousted on the women’s side.

No. 14 Daria Kasatkina, a finalist last year, lost to Marketa Vondrousova 6-2, 6-1; No. 19 Caroline Garcia lost to Jennifer Brady 6-3, 3-6, 6-0; No. 27 Su-Wei Hsieh was beaten by Johanna Konta 6-0, 6-2; and No. 29 Mihaela Buzarnescu lost to Daria Gavrilova 6-2, 6-2.

In men’s opening-round matches, Steve Johnson beat fellow American Taylor Fritz 6-3, 6-3 and Stan Wawrinka edged Daniel Evans 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3. Also advancing were Feliciano Lopez and Hubert Hurkacz.

Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked player, won his first-round doubles match with Fabio Fognini. They beat Jeremy Chardy and Milos Raonic 7-6 (5), 6-1.

Murray loses doubles match at Eastbourne

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EASTBOURNE, England (AP) Andy Murray has lost in men’s doubles for the first time since returning from hip surgery in January.

Murray and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo were defeated 6-2, 6-4 in the first round at Eastbourne by top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah on Tuesday.

Murray, who struggled on serve, won the doubles title with Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s Club on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Murray will partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in men’s doubles at Wimbledon.

More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Kvitova to decide this week whether to play at Wimbledon

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PRAGUE — Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says she will decide later this week if she’s ready to play at the All England Club.

The 29-year-old Czech player injured her left forearm during training in Paris ahead of the French Open and has not played since. The injury prevented her from defending her title at the Birmingham Classic this week.

Kvitova wrote on Twitter that she was “Happy to tell you that my arm is improving and I just hit some balls on the beautiful grass for the first time.

The sixth-ranked Kvitova, who won the Wimbledon title in 2011 and 2014, reached the Australian Open final and won tournaments in Sydney and Stuttgart this year.