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Watson through

Watson through

Britain’s No.2 Heather Watson beat American Nicole Gibbs 4-6 6-2 6-2 in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and will now face BritainŠ—Ès No1, Johanna Konta, the 11th seed, in the next round.

It will be a first meeting between the two Britons since 2013

It will be a first meeting between the two Britons since 2013 when the pair met in a second level event in Barnstaple when Watson retired after just four games.

Ranked nearly 100 places above her, Konta is the clear favourite though she put up a sterling job to defeat Gibbs after an hour and 50 minutes.

Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig required just an hour to defeat another American, Danielle Collins 6-0 6-2 and will face the third seed Karolina Pliskova in round two.

A third American, Kayla Day went through after beating Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-4 while Pliskova’s sister Kristyna progressed with a 6-0 6-3 win against Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US.

In an all-Romanian first-round clash, Monica Niculescu ousted Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-3 6-1 while China’s Wang Qiang recoverd to beat Ukraine’s Kateryna Bondarenko in three sets.

In other matches, Kirsten Flipkens defeated Catherine Bellis 4-6 6-1 6-4, Jelena Ostapenko won 6-4 2-6 7-6(3) against Danka Kovinic, Johanna Larsson beat Camila Giorgi 7-6(3) 6-3 and Louisa Chirico saw off Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-3.

There were also first-round wins for Yanina Wickmayer, Madison Brengle, Belinda Bencic, Anett Kontaveit, Evgeniya Rodina and Sara Errani.

About The Author

Henry Wancke

Henry Wancke is one of the most respected Tennis writers in the UK. Henry is the Editor of both Tennis Threads Magazine and tennisthreads.net. He previously worked as Editor of Tennis World, Serve & Volley as well as Tennis Today magazines and been stringer for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Press Association. He also co-authored the Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Tennis with John Parsons published by Carlton, and the Federation Cup – the first 32 years, published by the ITF. Currently he is the Secretary of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association and Hon Vice President of the Tennis Industry Association UK.

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