Johanna Konta impressed on the Pietrangeli court at Rome’s Foro Italico

Johanna Konta made a strong start at the Italian Open with a straight-set win over Kazakhstan’s Yulina Putintseva in Rome.

The British number one, who turns 26 on Wednesday, won 6-3 6-0 to claim her second clay-court victory of the year.

Konta had a bye in the first round as the fifth seed and will face American Venus Williams or Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko in round three.

Fellow Britons Andy Murray and Aljaz Bedene are in action later on Tuesday.

Top seed Murray takes on Italian Fabio Fognini in the evening session at 20:00 BST, after Bedene faces second seed Novak Djokovic at around 15:00.

Konta impressed against Putintseva, breaking the world number 29’s serve four times while remaining steadfast on her own.

The first set was hard work for the Briton but her attacking instincts prevailed with the only break in game five.

A fainting ball boy, who was escorted from the court, was the only significant interruption to the world number six’s progress in the second set as she raced through six straight games.


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