Indian Wells, CA – American teenager Taylor Townsend came up a winner in her WTA debut Thursday at the $5.186 million BNP Paribas Open.
The 16-year-old wild card posted a 3-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 victory over Czech Lucie Hradecka on the hardcourts at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The promising left-hander and Chicago native Townsend, who was the top-ranked junior in the world at the end of 2012, will face former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the second round.
Swede Sofia Arvidsson overcame promising British lefty Laura Robson 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1, while additional wins came for Romanians Monica Niculescu and Irina-Camelia Begu. The hot Niculescu was a finalist in Brazil last week.
Meanwhile, 42-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm snuck past Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Victoria Azarenka beat former champion and fellow former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova in last year's final in the California desert. The two women are this week's top seeds.
Other former Indian Wells champs in the field are former world No. 1s Caroline Wozniacki, Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.
This Premier Mandatory WTA event will pay its' newest champion $1 million.