Emma Raducanu has shrugged off injury concerns to claim a highly encouraging 6-1 3-6 6-1 win over Caroline Garcia at Indian Wells.
The 19-year-old feared she might have to miss one of the biggest tournaments on the calendar after picking up a leg injury in Mexico just over two weeks ago.
But she defied expectations by bouncing back in time to play at the BNP Paribas Open and delivered an impressive performance to sink the former world No.4 in a decisive final set.
It was a timely win for Raducanu, coming after a difficult start to the year which saw her battle coronavirus as well as blisters that hampered her progress at the Australian Open.
Raducanu was in full control as she raced through the first set and looked likely to make short work of her opponent when she broke immediately at the start of the second.
But Garcia battled her way back into the match and there were fears the British No.1’s testing start to the new campaign was set to continue.
Admirably, Raducanu responded immediately, racing into a 3-0 lead in the deciding set and then pouncing on her opponent’s increasing error count to set up a third-round meeting with Petra Martic.
Bowing out of the tournament, however, was Ajla Tomljanovic.
The Australian was beaten in straight sets, 6-4 7-5, by No.26 seed Sorana Cirstea.
Both players battled on serve and traded breaks, but Cirstea’s higher conversion rate proved the difference.
Tomljanovic served five double faults, while the Romanian got a low 47 per cent of first serves in.
No.3 seed Iga Swiatek also advanced, beating Anhelina Kalinina 5-7 6-0 6-1.