No. 11 seed Johanna Konta booked the first spot in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fellow Brit Heather Watson under the bright sun of Stadium 1 on Friday.
This was the first tour-level meeting for the two. "[Heather and I] get along great off court," said Konta. "We actually recently spent quite a bit of time together because of Fed Cup. We had a great Fed Cup in Estonia. We had a little bit great experiences quite recently together.
"I think both of us went with the intention of giving our best and trying to do what we can to come through in the end. I was, I guess, fortunate enough I came out on top today."
Watch Konta Highlights
Konta, who broke into the Top 10 of the WTA Rankings for the first time last year, shares the same quarter of the draw as twice-finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 5 seed Dominika Cibulkova. She next plays No. 21 Caroline Garcia, a straight-set winner over lucky loser Evgeniya Rodina of Russia.
10th seed Elina Svitolina, champion two weeks ago in Dubai, also advanced into the third round with a tight, 3-6, 6-3 7-6(3) victory over China’s Wang Qiang. The Ukrainian will play Daria Gavrilova for a place in the Round of 16.
17-year-old wildcard Kayla Day won the last four games to upset Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-4, 5-7, 7-5. She will face either Muguruza or Flipkens in the third round.
"It feels amazing," said Day on court after the match. "I can’t describe [it]. I’m so jittery right now. I told myself to keep fighting."
Headlining the evening session is No. 3 seed Karolina Pliskova against reigning Olympic Gold medalist Monica Puig. Also in Friday action are fifth seed Dominika Cibulkova, No. 7 Garbiñe Muguruza, and twice finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova.