Wildcards Irina Falconi, Sachia Vickery succeed in Indian Wells

Irina Falconi and Sachia Vickery made the most of their wildcards into the BNP Paribas Open, advancing past the first round in Indian Wells.

Irina Falconi and Sachia Vickery made the most of their wildcards into the BNP Paribas Open, advancing past the first round in Indian Wells.

The American pair both won tight two-setters - Falconi edging Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (8-6) 6-4, and Vickery surpassing Alla Kudryavtseva 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (8-6) at the WTA Premier hard-court tournament.

Vickery will take on fellow American and 26th seed Varvara Lepchenko next, while Falconi teed up a date with Spanish 19th seed Garbine Muguruza.

There was more joy for the local contingent in the United States, as Alison Riske and Sloane Stephens progressed.

Stephens, a quarter-finalist at Indian Wells in 2014, is facing dropping out of the WTA Tour's top 50 if she does not replicate a deep run at the event, but she started her tournament with a 7-5 7-5 triumph over Chanelle Scheepers.

Riske downed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-2 6-3.

Not so lucky among the Americans were wildcards Nicole Gibbs, Louisa Chirico and Grace Min.

Gibbs was out-gunned by Monica Puig 6-3 7-5, Chirico fell to Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 and Min was beaten by Marina Erakovic 6-3 6-1.

Of the 16 singles matches played on Wednesday, only three went to three sets - and qualifier Alison van Uytvanck was the only to win after losing the opener, the Belgian beating Kurumi Nara 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Mona Barthel edged out Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 5-7 6-4, and Heather Watson got the better of Julia Goerges 6-4 5-7 6-3.

Romanian Monica Niculescu had a straightforward 6-2 6-1 win over Aleksandra Krunic, although she has a tough test next - top seed Serena Williams awaits in the second round.

Czech Katerina Siniakova ousted qualifier Evgeniya Rodina 6-3 6-3, Elena Vesnina downed qualifier Kateryna Kozlova by the same scoreline and Lara Arruabarrena - another qualifier - was a rampant 6-0 6-1 victor over Magdalena Rybarikova.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova saw off Johanna Larsson 6-4 6-3, while qualifier Daria Gavrilova was too good for Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-3 6-4.

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