Sports

American wild-card Irina Falconi advances to second round at Indian Wells

American wild-card Irina Falconi advanced to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday, beating Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (6), 6-4.

The 24-year-old Falconi, born in Ecuador, was one of seven Americans in action on an overcast opening day in the two-week event at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Louisa Chirico, another wild card ranked 148th in the world, lost to Donna Vekic of Croatia, 6-4, 6-3.

In other matches, Heather Watson of Britain topped Julia Goerges of Germany 6-4, 5-7, 6-3; Elena Vesnina of Russia beat qualifier Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 6-3, 6-3; qualifier Daria Gavrilova of Russia ousted Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-3, 6-4; and Mona Barthels of Germany outlasted Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.