WTA BNP Paribas Open Day 1 wrapup: Azarenka, Konta lead the way
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The BNP Paribas Open kicked off main draw action with 16 first round matches. Standing out amongst the victors was Victoria Azarenka and Johanna Konta as well as young Americans Sofia Kenin and Amanda Anisimova.

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Azarenka, Konta kick off the tournament with wins

The Brit was first up on Stadium 1 against Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier. After a nervy beginning, Konta rattled off the final four games of the opening set to take it 6-2.

After falling behind an early break in the second, the world number claimed six of the final seven games to pick up a 6-2, 6-3 win and book a date with Su-wei Hsieh in the second round.

Azarenka was last on Stadium 1 and faced countrywoman Vera Lapko. In a first set that saw a total of 13 break points, it was the former world number one who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take the first set by a 6-2 scoreline.

She raced out to a 4-0 lead in the second before closing out a 6-2, 6-3 victory to set a blockbuster second-round clash with Serena Williams.

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Youngsters have success on Day 1

There were several young prospects who took to the courts on Wednesday. 18-year old Bianca Andreescu fought back from a set down to defeat Irina-Camelia Begu 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3 in a match that saw the Canadian overturn a 5-2 first set deficit only to come up short. After taking the second, Andreescu rallied from a break down in the decider.

Amanda Anisimova, who reached the Round of 16 here last year, began her campaign with a fairly straightforward 6-0, 6-4 win over Aleksandra Krunic.

The American, who also made the fourth round at the Australian Open, raced through the opening set in just 25 minutes before surviving a wobble midway through the second set.

Sofia Kenin took her rematch with Yafan Wang in a dramatic 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 triumph. The 20-year old, who lost to the Chinese in a three-setter in the Acapulco final, lost serve three times in getting blitzed in just 30 minutes.

After trading early breaks in the second, Kenin claimed a late advantage in the second and saved two break points on serve to force a third.

The third set saw the world number 67 jump out to a quick 3-0 lead only to watch Wang rally once more to level things at 3-3.

After again breaking late in the set, Kenin finally closed out the encounter in two hours, 29 minutes to advance to a second-round matchup with Elina Svitolina.

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Other results from Wednesday

Rounding out the winners were Marketa Vondrousova, Magda Linette, Lauren Davis, Kateryna Kozlova, Shuai Zhang, Stefanie Voegele, Jennifer Brady, Tatjana Maria, Bernarda Pera, Daria Gavrilova and Barbora Strycova.

Thursday's action is highlighted by Venus Williams, who faces Andrea Petkovic, Eugenie Bouchard, who squares off with Kirsten Flipkens and Monica Puig, who will meet Evgeniya Rodina.