Tennis: Townsend topples Vinci at rainy Miami

Townsend (above) beat Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2.
Townsend (above) beat Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - American prospect Taylor Townsend upset Italian 25th seed Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-2 on Friday (March 24) at the WTA Miami Open before rain halted play for the second consecutive day.

The 20-year-old left-hander's victory over the 2015 US Open runner-up was among her top career triumphs and sets up a possible meeting with seventh seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

Indian Wells finalist Kuznetsova must get past Luxembourg's Mandy Minella in her second-round contest to reach the third-round meeting with world number 111 Townsend, a Miami qualifier.

"I played really well and I am happy with that result," Townsend said of her victory over Vinci.

"I've had some tough matches here. I think I was a lot more solid than I have been in the last couple of days.

"All the things that didn't really work... it came together today."

Townsend has never played Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, and acknowledged it would be a huge challenge.

"I really like watching her play," Townsend said. "She has won two Slams and is a great player who is playing some of her best tennis now. I am playing well. I've got four matches under my belt and I don't have anything to lose."