Cibulkova, the world No 33, missed out on a seeding here when the All England Club promoted Serena Williams above her world ranking.“First rounds are always tricky,” Konta said after her victory.Konta kept up the pressure in the first game of the second set, breaking serve with a forehand cross-court return winner.At 4-3 the Briton had two chances for a second break, but Vikhlyantseva saved both of them with big forehand winners.For however long I was going to be out there I made sure that every second I was out there I would fight hard for every point.” She added: “I think I stayed very tough out there. There were points and parts of the match where I didn’t make the right decisions.” Konta reached No 4 in the world rankings in the wake of her performances here last summer, which were the best by a British woman for 39 years, but had slipped to No 9 by the end of 2017 and has fallen even further since.After making early exits at the Australian and French Opens and failing to defend her Miami Open title, she arrived here as the world No 24.While Konta insists that she is never too concerned about the prospect of defending ranking points, this could be a significant fortnight in her career.
She has previously opened up about their friendship, which blossomed after the ladies took part in a charity football game in 2014.
By the time Konta went 40-0 up at 6-5 the Briton had won 11 points in a row.
Vikhlyantseva stopped the rot by saving the first set point, but on the second Konta hit a service winner.
The 6ft 1in Russian has a potent serve, though she paid a high price here for nine double faults.
She also packs a powerful punch with her ground strokes, but her less than fluid movement leaves her vulnerable when on the run.