Johanna Konta leads the way as British stars march into Australian Open second round

For the first time in 30 years, Britain has five representatives in the second round of the tournament

BY Cian Roche 16:06 Tuesday 17 January 2017, 16:06 17 Jan 2017

Image: Andy Brownbill AP/Press Association Images

Andy Murray battled the searing heat on Monday to book his place in the second round of the Australian Open, alongside compatriot Dan Evans.

Today, they were joined by trio Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and  Kyle Edmund to progress in the tournament. Naomi Broady couldn't emulate the feat and crashed out against Russian Daria Gavrilova.

The total of British representatives comes to five, the highest number of Britons who have made it to the second round since 1987. 

Konta, who is being tipped to go far in the tournament following her success in won the Sydney International last week, explained that she is not looking past any of her opponents.

She defeated Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens in straight sets and will face Naomi Osaka in the next round.

"First and foremost I think I'm just very happy to have come through that," she said after the match. "She's incredibly tough and she's been around on the tour for quite some time. That's not accident. 

"She really has an incredible ability to make things difficult and for her opponents and she definitely did that for me again today. I'm happy to have come through and give myself another opportunity to play here."

In hot conditions, the newly installed world number nine progressed with a 7-5, 6-2 victory in Melbourne and said she never let her surroundings get the better of her.

"I think in conditions like that it's something that you have to try and put to the back of your mind. You and your opponent are in the same boat, but I think taking care of things like hydration and going back to the shaded parts of the courts as quick as you can.

"It wasn't too bad for us on court. The later the day goes the hotter it will be."

Johanna Konta made light work of her Belgian counterpart Kirsten Flipkens morning in Melbourne. Image: Andy Brownbill AP/Press Association Images

Watson experienced a decidedly more difficult opening round match, but was able to overcome Australian Sam Stosur 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.

In a match that lasted two hours and 15 minutes, the pair set out on a war of attrition and the 24-year-old came through in emphatic fashion.

"Today I had a lot of energy and was motivated for this match against Sam," she said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy. She's a great player and I've played with her a couple of times before and lost. 

"She has a very different game, hits a ball very heavy and has a big serve. It's not the usual style that I'm used to playing.

"Being at home she had the crowd with her but I just enjoyed being out there."

Of her return to the court, she added: "I was excited to be back on the course, this was my first competitive match this year. I'm happy with my mental attitude and how I fought. I might have made more mistakes than I wanted, but I'm pleased with my intent."

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