Big guns advance at Australia Open

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Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund all won to make it five British players in the Australian Open second round for the first time since 1987.

After Andy Murray and Dan Evans won on Monday, British women’s number one Konta beat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 6-2.

Edmund played superbly to see off Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-2 7-5 6-3 and Watson overcame Australia’s 18th seed Sam Stosur 6-3 3-6 6-0.

But compatriot Naomi Broady lost to Australian Daria Gavrilova 3-6 6-4 7-5.

It is the second time in five months that five British players have reached the second round of a Grand Slam, after last year’s US Open.

Konta last year became the first British woman to reach an Australian Open semi-final since Sue Barker in 1977, and the first to reach the last four at any Grand Slam since Jo Durie at the 1983 US Open.

Konta, who won the Sydney warm-up tournament last week, will next face Naomi Osaka after the 19-year-old Japanese beat Luksika Kumkhum.

Flipkens, ranked 70 in the world, began well but Konta, considered a serious contender to win her first Grand Slam title, soon improved.

The 25 year old was serving for the opening set at 5-4 but Flipkens broke back after a 10-minute game which saw both players miss several good chances.

Konta, named the WTA’s most improved player of 2016, responded by breaking Flipkens again and then held her serve to love to take the opening set after 51 minutes.

The Briton dominated the second set, securing two breaks of serve, to wrap up victory. (BBC Sport)

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