March 7, 2019 / 4:26 AM / 4 months ago

Tennis: Former No. 4 Konta starts strong at Indian Wells

Former world No. 4 Johanna Konta of Great Britain started out strong at the BNP Paribas Open, winning her first-round match over Pauline Parmentier of France 6-2, 6-3 in the first round on Wednesday at Indian Wells, Calif.

Mar 6, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Johanna Konta (GBR) in her first round match against Pauline Parmentier (not pictured) during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Jayne Kamin-Oncea

The 27-year-old Konta, who has fallen to No. 45 in the WTA rankings after an inconsistent 2018 campaign, dispatched her opponent with relative ease to advance to the second round in 89 minutes. Konta broke open a tight first set by winning 14 of the final 16 points to take control.

Parmentier, 33, scored an early break in the second set to go up 2-0, but Konta broke right back in winning six of the next seven games to close the match. Konta had 23 winners in the victory.

American women had a successful first round, with five advancing to Round 2 and only two being eliminated.

U.S. winners included 33rd-ranked Sofia Kenin, who ousted Yafan Wang of China 1-6, 7-5, 6-4; Jennifer Brady, who was victorious over Japan’s Nao Hibino 7-5, 6-3; Lauren Davis, who bested Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 7-6 (2), 6-2; and 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova, who defeated Serbian Aleksandra Krunic 6-0, 6-4.

In a battle between U.S. women, Bernarda Pera took out Catherine McNally 6-2, 6-1. American Sachia Vickery lost to Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland 7-5, 6-2.

Other first-round winners included 18-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who rallied to defeat Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3.

“For me, the ending is the most important, so I’m really glad I pulled through,” Andreescu said. “Mentally ... I was like, I might as well go for my shots and see where that leads me, and that’s what I did, and it worked.

“When I take control right from the start of the point, I win most of my points. Today, that didn’t really show in the first set, so I had to change something. That’s what happened, and it worked.”

Former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka later won an all-Belarusian showdown with Vera Lapko, 6-2, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Poland’s Magda Linette advanced over Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (5); Czech Marketa Vondrousova squeaked past German Laura Siegemund 6-4, 7-6 (6); China’s Shuai Zhang cruised over Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-4; and Tatjana Maria of Germany defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-2.

Australia’s Daria Gavrilova topped Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, and the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova got past Austria’s Viktorija Golubic 6-2, 7-6 (4).

—Field Level Media

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