Eugenie Bouchard beat Japanese qualifier Risa Ozaki 2-6 6-4 6-2 on Thursday night (Friday AEDT) to close out first-round women’s play at the Indian Wells tennis tournament.
Bouchard, a 22-year-old Canadian who is trying to recapture the form that carried her to No.5 in the world late in 2014, battled with her own inconsistency throughout the match, but won on her first match point when Ozaki hit a backhand just long.
Bouchard, currently the world No.42, will face 21st-seeded Sloane Stephens of the US in the second round.
Daniela Hantuchova, a two-time tournament champion, lost to Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-2 6-4. It was the second straight first-round loss for Hantuchova, who won her titles in 2002 and 2007.
The women will begin second-round play on Friday with Venus Williams scheduled to play her first match at the tournament in 15 years in the afternoon and top-ranked Serena Williams on the schedule for the night session.