Robson a cut above in Shenzhen

ESPN staff
December 30, 2012
Laura Robson won in China © PA Photos

Laura Robson capped an encouraging day for British players at the Shenzhen Open with a comfortable opening victory over Romania's Edina Gallovits-Hall.

Robson, at world No. 53 ranked 54 places ahead of Gallovits-Hall, was dominant on her serve - winning 80 per cent of her service points as her rival chipped in with eight double faults on the way to a 6-2 6-1 success.

Seventh seed Robson will now face another Romanian, Monica Niculescu, in the next round - which should prove a more competitive encounter given the ranking similarity between the pair.

There was also good news for Anne Keothavong, who won two qualifying matches to reach the first round of the tournament proper.

After dispatching wildcard Shilin Xu in a three-setter, 6-3 4-6 6-0, Keothavong returned to oust Italian Nastassja Burnett 6-3 6-4.

Meanwhile, at the illustrious Brisbane International in Australia there were confortable first round wins for seeds Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova.

Williams, the third seed, defeated compatriot Varvara Lepchenko 6-2 6-1 to march into the second round, with Kvitova joining her thanks to a similarly straightforward 6-3 6-4 triumph against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Elsewhere, there were also wins for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daniela Hantuchova, Jarmila Gajdosova and Urszula Radwanska - who dumped out Tamira Paszek 2-6 6-0 6-2.

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