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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 BritainÈs 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.