INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 7 (UPI) -- Mona Barthel rolled to a first-round victory in the BNP Paribas Open Wednesday, one that gives her a match against the world's top-ranked player.
Barthel recorded a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Jill Craybas on the opening day of the first Masters series tournament of the year. The event runs through March 18 with each of the 32 seeded players receiving a bye past the first round.
Victoria Azarenka is seeded No. 1 in this tournament after winning her first 17 matches of the year. She moved atop the world rankings thanks to three championships in 2012, including the Australian Open.
Azarenka has defeated Barthel twice this year, one of those matches coming in the third round in Australia.
Among the other first-round winners Wednesday was Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who survived against Ayumi Morita 2-6, 6-1, 6-4. That earned her a meeting with third-seeded Petra Kvitova in the second round.
Other winners included Vania King, who defeated Sara Errani 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, and Jamila Gajdosova, who ousted Coco Vandeweghe 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.