Emma Raducanu of the United Kingdom overcame a sickness and injury-related setback to triumph in the opening round of the renowned Indian Wells tournament.
Despite doubting her ability to compete due to a reoccurring wrist issue, Raducanu, 20, defeated Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-2, 6-3.
The 77th-ranked 2021 US Open champion will next play Poland’s Magda Linette.
Another Brit Jack Draper won his opening game in just 55 minutes, setting up a match with fellow countryman Dan Evans.
One of the largest contests outside of the four Grand Slam competitions, the BNP Paribas Open, is one that Andy Murray hopes to join later on Thursday.
Stream commentary from Indian Wells on the BBC
Raducanu has been unable to capitalize on her stunning US Open victory since she won the tournament as a relatively unknown teenage qualifier because of ongoing fitness issues.
Her chances of gaining momentum in her first full year on the WTA Tour were ruined by numerous ailments throughout 2022, and the wrist issue that halted her season reappeared to jeopardize her participation in Indian Wells.
The British number one tennis player summarized her fortunes by telling BBC Sport that tonsillitis forced her to withdraw from a tournament in Austin last week. “When it rains, it pours,” she said.
In Raducanu’s first match since losing to Coco Gauff at the Australian Open, he defeated 62nd-ranked Kovinic with ease, which ought to help dispel any residual sadness.
Although she trailed 2-0 in each of the two sets and didn’t seem fully recovered from her previous sickness, Raducanu, 28, gained confidence as Kovinic made a string of mistakes.
In both sets, Kovinic made several careless shots and had trouble with her first-serve %, but Raducanu maintained her composure and played shrewdly to eke out a convincing victory.
Draper makes an impression while making a comeback.
In his first competitive matchback following a seven-week absence, Jack Draper made an impression. Raducanu’s triumph came soon after the 21-year-old Draper destroyed Switzerland’s Leandro Riedi 6-1, 6-1.
The left-hander hadn’t competed since losing to Rafael Nadal of Spain at the Australian Open in mid-January.
Draper looked sharp as he destroyed Riedi’s serve, who was ranked 135th, and showed no traces of the leg issue he had been battling with.
The 56th-ranked Draper dominated on his own serve and broke in six of his seven return games.
Despite a seven-week break, Draper put up an excellent performance that demonstrated why he is one of the bright emerging stars on the ATP Tour.
The quick victory sets up an intriguing match against the 24th seed Evans, who will undoubtedly provide Riedi a tougher test than he received on his ATP Masters debut.