Young Yulia Putinseva served for the first set at 5-4 against Serena Williams. But that’s when Serena took charge, easily breaking the Kazakh and never looking back in a 7-6, 6-0 win for the World No. 1.
“I was just trying to find my rhythm out there,” said Serena. “[I was] trying my best to not get off to a slow start. Then I got broken really early and I couldn’t manage to break back.
“But I was just trying to fight out there and do what I could.”
Serena, who won the title in 1999 and 2001, will now face Kateryna Bondarenko on Tuesday.
Also advancing to the fourth round were qualifier Nicole Gibbs, Agnieszka Radwanska and Jelena Jankovic who blew out Coco Vandeweghe 6-0, 6-1. Petra Kvitova needed three sets again to oust Johanna Larsson 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
In the late match, Simona Halep and Ekatarina Makarova were scheduled to tangle.
Monday sees the return of Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic and Genie Bouchard as the third round of play concludes.
Bouchard meets former French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky. The Canadian is still trying to rebuild her game after a suffering a concussion at the US Open.
“Not thinking about last year helps,” Bouchard said. “I have just really been working hard. I took time after Australia to practice. I decided not to play and really just trying to get my game to another level.
“Once in a while I feel like I have little lapses, and I think that’s still maybe to be expected. You never know exactly, you know, how you’re going to heal from these things or how long it will take. In Malaysia I felt like I suffered some symptoms. As I have been here in this great desert, dry weather, I have been great. Just something I constantly monitor. Just trying to stay on top of it.”
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