Konta makes strong start
Originally published on 23/03/18 00:00
The British No.1 has been searching for her best form in recent months, but a return to the venue of her greatest triumph appears to have provided her with a boost.
It was an authoritative display from Konta. The 26-year-old served impressively, was rock-solid from the baseline and coped admirably with the threat posed by her crafty opponent.
Earlier in the day, Elina Svitolina ensured there would be no sunshine double for Naomi Osaka. The Ukrainian was a commanding 6-4 6-2 victor over the Indian Wells champion.
“I always knew that [Osaka] can produce a great game," said the No.4 seed. "I knew that I have to be always on my toes, have to be ready for her strong shots, for her strong serve.
"I was just trying to not give her any opportunities. I think I played pretty solid today, serving good. This was the key for today – and making it physical as well."
Petra Kvitova bounced back from her Indian Wells disappointment with a 7-5 3-6 6-3 victory over Aryna Sabalenka. Daria Kasatkina, who reached the final in the California desert last weekend, was upended to Sofia Kenin 3-6 6-2 6-2.
There was also wins for Donna Vekic, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Danielle Collins, Maria Sakkari.