Australian Open 2017: Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Kyle Edmund win

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta reached the Australian Open semi-finals last year, and went on to reach the world's top 10
Australian Open 2017
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne Dates: 16-29 Jan
Coverage: Daily live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website; TV highlights on BBC Two and online from 21 January.

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 shows her credentials

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.

"It was incredibly tricky. She has the kind of game that can trouble any player," said Konta.

"I tried to play myself into the match and I'm happy to be through. A lot has happened in the last year and I'm just enjoying playing and trying to get better every day."


BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

If Naomi Broady had edged a tight match with Daria Gavrilova, there would have been six British players in the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2006.

Johanna Konta's rapid elevation into the top 10 means Britain has a plausible shot at both the men's and women's singles titles, and others are now better equipped to keep her and Andy Murray company for longer.

Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans proved that last year, and Heather Watson's win over Sam Stosur showed what she is capable of. Watson craves consistency, and this first round win was at least a positive start.

Hard work pays off for Edmund

Kyle Edmund
Edmund trained with Andy Murray during the off-season

Edmund was hampered by cramp in his first-round defeat by Damir Dzumhur in Melbourne last year, but has worked hard on his fitness.

Despite the temperature reaching 35C, the 22-year-old world number 46 looked assured throughout his contest with the 91st-ranked Giraldo.

He will meet Pablo Carreno Busta, the Spanish 30th seed who went through after Canadian Peter Polansky retired in the fifth set.

"Last year was a very different scenario, so it was nice to concentrate on my tennis and let my body take care of me," said Edmund.

Watson wins after two-hour battle

British number two Watson, who had lost in the first round in her past three appearances at the Australian Open, was broken early by home favourite Stosur.

However, former US Open champion Stosur could not keep any consistency and Watson eventually secured a place in the second round after two hours and 15 minutes.

"There were some very long games and I had a slow start in both of the first two sets - in the third I wanted to make her work," said Watson, 24.

"Sam's a great player - she's beaten me both times before. I felt I prepared really well and felt fit in that third set."

Watson, ranked 81, will face Jennifer Brady in her next match, after the American beat Belgium's Maryna Zanevska 6-3 6-2.

Broady puts in admirable performance

Naomi Broady
Broady, who towers nine inches above her opponent, and Gavrilova are friends off the court

Gavrilova, who is ranked 26th in the world and 71 places above Broady, was taken the distance by the British number three.

Stockport's Broady, 26, was making her debut in the Australian Open main draw and was looking for only her third victory in a Grand Slam match.

And she started well inside the Margaret Court Arena, overpowering 22-year-old Gavrilova in the first set.

Gavrilova, who switched her nationality from Russian to Australian in 2015, had her best Grand Slam run by reaching the fourth round in Melbourne last year.

And, despite a total of 19 aces from Broady, she was able to complete a comeback victory with the only break of the third and final set.


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