Italian Open: Johanna Konta beats Magdalena Rybarikova in first round
Britain’s Johanna Konta beat Magdalena Rybarikova in the first round of the Italian Open to register her second win in eight days over the Slovak.
Konta, ranked 22nd in the world, beat the 16th seed 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 48 minutes in Rome.
She previously beat Rybarikova in the first round of the Madrid Open, before being knocked out by Bernarda Pera.
The 26-year-old will play either Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei or Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus next.
British number one Konta had been set to play Petra Kvitova, but the Czech withdrew following her victory in the Madrid Open on Saturday.
Despite several opportunities for Konta, it was Rybarikova who broke first in the seventh game of the first set.
Konta cancelled out the deficit straight away and went on to close out the set, hitting 19 winners to Rybarikova’s nine.
In the second set, both players struggled to hold serve at first and Rybarikova won three straight games to break Konta and take a 3-2 lead.
The Briton forced her way back into the set, a punchy forehand ending Rybarikova’s advantage, before saving three break points in a lengthy game to take the lead.
Despite 40 unforced errors to Rybarikova’s 24, Konta was able to hold on and secure victory.
Vinci bows out with first-round defeat
Former US Open finalist Roberta Vinci bowed out of her final WTA tournament with a first-round defeat.
The Italian lost 2-6 6-0 6-3 to Serb qualifier Aleksandra Krunic. The 35-year-old reached the US Open final in 2010 and won 10 singles title in her career spanning nearly two decades.
Elsewhere former world number oneVictoria Azarenkawas beaten by Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-0 6-3. Osaka who will play top seed Simona Halep in the next round.
And world number 10 Sloane Stephens of the USA beat Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-1.