INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — CiCi Bellis overpowered qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-3 in a first-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.
The 18-year-old American, who turned down a full scholarship to Stanford to turn pro last August, had her serve broken just once in the 65-minute match. Bellis earned a second-round matchup with defending champion Elena Vesnina.
Serena Williams was set to end a 14-month absence from the WTA Tour later Thursday against Zarina Diyas of Kazhakhstan. Williams has been away since winning the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant with her first child. She gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. six months ago.
Williams' only competitive appearances came in December at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, a Fed Cup doubles match with sister Venus last month and an exhibition in New York on Monday.
More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis