Serena Williams retired from her Indian Wells encounter with Garbine Muguruza

Serena Williams

"I will focus on getting better and start preparing for Miami", she said, referencing next week's Miami Open.

Still seeking her first tournament title since returning in 2018 from a long layoff that included a hard childbirth, the 37-year-old Williams showed excellent form at the start of Sunday's match.

Serena Williams (USA) as she defeated Victoria Azarenka (not pictured) during her second round match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

After Kozlova claimed a 3-2 advantage in the first set, Halep won three consecutive games to go to set point at 5-3 on Kozlova's serve.

"By the score it might have looked like I started well, but I was not feeling at all well physically".

It was just like, 'Man, we'll play next time.' Yeah, I think I played well one set.

Williams made a solid start to Sunday's contest in California as she raced into a 3-0 lead, dominating from the baseline with a string of powerful forehands.

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Williams was seeded 10th in her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open.

Williams, who made the semifinals in the desert previous year, was playing McHale for the first time.

For her part, Muguruza says that she took no pleasure from her unconventional victory against one of the sport's all-time greats.

Halep, the 2015 champion, was challenged but got past qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

Federer saved six of seven break chances against the German after losing just two points on his serve in the first set.

World No.97 Barthel, a former Top 25 player, notched her second Top 20 win in a row with a third-round upset of her countrywoman Julia Goerges, the No.15 seed, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.

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