Robson fails to set up Radwanska test in Dubai

ESPN staff
February 18, 2013
Laura Robson is ranked 43 in the world © Getty Images

British No. 2 Laura Robson failed to set up a second round meeting with world No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday, losing to Yulia Putintseva in three sets.

Robson, currently ranked 43 in the world - two places behind compatriot Heather Watson, lost to a player ranked 58 places below her as Putintseva scored a 6-4 2-6 7-6(6) upset.

In a tournament that will feature the world's top two players, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, Robson had the chance to further her blossoming career by mixing it with the best players on the WTA circuit.

That scenario would quickly have become a reality had she advanced from a first-round meeting with world No. 101 Putintseva to an encounter with Radwanska. But once again the Brit had troubles with her serve.

Robson and Putintseva shared a tight opening set, exchanging breaks as the scores progressed to 2-2. There was little to choose between either player, but Putintseva broke again to take it 6-4.

Robson became more aggressive early in the second, ambushing her rival's second serve to steal an advantage, and she broke again to level at one set apiece.

However, Robson dropped her first-serve accuracy to 50 per cent in the third, falling behind early in the final set. She won seven of 22 points on her second delivery as Putintseva broke again to serve for the match at 5-2, although the final chapter was yet to be written.

Robson is a fighter and she gained a break back to love, closing the gap to 5-4. Putintseva still had another chance to close out the contest on serve but a double-fault saw Robson back on terms at 5-5.

A tiebreaker was needed to settle matters, with Robson leading it 5-3 before eventually losing 8-6 after two hours and 21 minutes on court.

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