Azarenka sets up Serena showdown at Indian Wells

Coco Gauff returns to hometown after magical Wimbledon run

Untroubled by Vera Lapko, Victoria Azarenka next faces Serena Williams at the Indian Wells Open.

Victoria Azarenka set up a second-round showdown against Serena Williams after a straight-sets win at the Indian Wells Open on Wednesday.

Azarenka eased past fellow Belarusian Vera Lapko in the opening round, setting up a meeting with Williams in a repeat of the 2016 final.

Johanna Konta also came through the first round comfortably, while the in-form Sofia Kenin got a measure of revenge.

Meanwhile, Lauren Davis set up a second-round meeting with Garbine Muguruza at the WTA Premier event.

AZARENKA FINDING TOUCH

Azarenka reached the quarter-finals in Acapulco and the former world number one has enjoyed playing at Indian Wells.

A two-time champion of the event, Azarenka had no problems in a 6-2 6-3 victory over Lapko.

It set up a mouth-watering clash against Williams, who has dominated their head-to-head – leading 17-4 – but lost their last encounter – at Indian Wells three years ago.

KONTA CRUISES PAST PARMENTIER

Another quarter-finalist in Acapulco, Konta brushed past Parmentier 6-2 6-3 in just under 90 minutes.

The Brit had won the pair’s past three meetings and she got through again, although only after saving 10 of 11 break points.

Konta will next face 27th seed Hsieh Su-wei.

YOUNG AMERICANS GET THE JOB DONE

Kenin lost the final at the Mexican Open to Wang Yafan, and the duo met again at Indian Wells.

This time, the 20-year-old American battled through 1-6 7-5 6-4 after more than two and a half hours, and a clash against Elina Svitolina awaits.

Davis, a wildcard, overcame Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 and will next face Muguruza.

There were also wins for Daria Gavrilova, Tatjana Maria and Barbora Strycova.

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