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But after two exchanges of breaks en route to a 4-4 tie in the first set, Bencic took control of the match. The Swiss player took advantage of a double fault and backhand error by the Belgian to go up a break at 5-4, then held at love to seal the first set.

Van Uytvanck held to open the second set, but Bencic did not falter from that point on, reeling off six straight games. In fact, van Uytvanck had five game points between her next two service games, but Bencic came back in both of those instances to clinch service breaks, jumping out to a 4-1 lead.

On game point for 5-1, an outstanding rally between the women at the net went Bencic’s way after the Swiss player punctuated that point with a volley winner. In the next game, Bencic set up match point with a backhand crosscourt winner, and she broke van Uytvanck for the third straight time after a long miscue by the Belgian, ending the clash.

Photos: Behind the scenes of the WTA Indian Wells photoshoot

Meanwhile, former Top 25 player Mona Barthel of Germany earned a Top 20 win when she upset No.17 seed Madison Keys of the United States, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, after just over two hours of play. Barthel, currently ranked World No.97, broke the big-hitting Keys three times in the final set to seal victory, including twice after Keys stepped to the line to serve for the match at 5-4 in the decider.

Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure executed a comeback of her own as she surprised No.28 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia, 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. Bonaventure has now won four matches this week after losing the first set — twice in qualifying and again in the first round of the main draw against Taylor Townsend.

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