Italian Open: Andy Murray & Johanna Konta into third round but Heather Watson out

Andy Murray
Andy Murray is the world number three

Andy Murray reached the Italian Open third round with a 6-3 6-3 win over Kazakh qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin.

British number one Murray, 28, who received a bye in the first round, will next face Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in Rome.

Johanna Konta also made it through with a 6-0 6-4 win over Roberta Vinci. The 24-year-old British number one will next play Lucie Safarova or Misaki Doi.

Fellow Briton Heather Watson was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Czech Barbora Strycova.

"Good momentum" for Konta

Konta restricted Italian Vinci to seven points as she won the first set in 23 minutes, before taking the break needed in the second to knock out the seventh seed.

"I definitely came out with good momentum and I really tried to capitalise on that, really take my game to her," said Konta.

"It was inevitable for her to raise her level, she's top 10 and a Grand Slam finalist for a reason.

"I was just really happy I was able to stay tough when I needed to and stick it out with a game plan, and being able to serve it out in the end is always a good feeling."

Johanna Konta
Konta said playing Vinci in Rome felt like a Fed Cup match

Murray keen to appoint new coach

Assistant coach Jamie Delgado and Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith were in Murray's box for the world number three's first match since splitting from coach Amelie Mauresmo this week.

The French Open begins on 22 May and Murray is keen not to wait too long to appoint a replacement.

He told BBC Sport: "I'll definitely do that when I'm finished here, just to get an idea and get things moving forward because, if not, we get into the French Open, it's another couple of weeks and four or five weeks go past quick.

"Then you're into the grass-court season and that's obviously a pretty important and fairly stressful time of year too, so I'll try and make some progress with that in the next week or two."

British number two Watson, 23, won the opening four games but lost 12 of the next 14 against world number 37 Strycova, saying the defeat was "tough to take".

"I was playing super well, then my opponent stepped up her game, I dropped mine a little and it turned the match completely," added the world number 55.

"That happens sometimes. It happens more often on clay than other surface. It was a big opportunity for me today and I'll have to learn from this one."

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