INDIAN, WELLS CALIFORNIA – Kurumi Nara, playing her first match since her maiden victory on the WTA Tour, advanced to the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday.
Nara, who is ranked a career-high 47th following her Rio Open victory two weeks ago, defeated American Allie Kiick 6-4, 6-0, despite having to adjust after playing her last two events on clay. Kiick entered the tournament ranked 162nd in the world.
“I felt a little unfamiliar with the hard court and at times I was hurrying,” said Nara, who prior to her victory in Rio de Janeiro, had played in a Fed Cup fixture on clay in Buenos Aires.
“But basically, I don’t change the way I play. Although I had a lot of issues I’ll need to deal with, I think I played a good match.”
Nara’s second-round opponent will be seventh-ranked Romanian Simona Halep, who had a first-round bye.