• Australian Open

Murray sole Brit after Robson, Watson crash

ESPN staff
January 13, 2014
Robson was playing her first full match of the season following a wrist injury © Getty Images

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Just a few hours in to the 2014 Australian Open and Andy Murray is the only British representative left standing in the singles after Laura Robson and Heather Watson were both sent packing in the first round.

Robson, playing her first full match of the season following a wrist injury, was thrashed 6-3 6-0 by Kirsten Flipkens.

Belgian 18th seed Flipkens needed just 50 minutes to see off the British No. 1, who was clearly lacking match sharpness when she immediately dropped her serve and conceded the opening nine points of the tie.

It did not get much better for Australian-born Robson after that, as she racked up 32 errors to her opponent's four. Flipkens won the final eight games of the match to confirm Robson as the first player to be knocked out of the tournament.

Wilko: Murray's right - he won't win

Murray has played just four competitive matches since his surgery © Getty Images
  • Andy Murray is recovering from back surgery and if he is to win the Australian Open he will likely need to get past Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic following an unfavourable draw for the Scot.
  • The man himself says he probably won't win in Melbourne - and ESPN's resident tennis expert and former British No. 1 Chris Wilkinson agrees.
  • Click here to read the full article

Robson, who turns 20 next week, said: "It was up and down the whole time, and I don't think I ever really got into a rhythm at all. It just didn't go well. I definitely expected to play better, but it happens.

"I didn't really have any expectations going in because I didn't know what it was going to be like out there."

The defeat for Watson was vastly contrasting, as she battled for more than two and a half hours before going down 7-5 3-6 6-3 to 31st seed Daniela Hantuchova.

Watson came through three rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw, and she looked determined not to let the opportunity go to waste and recovered an early break.

But a double fault while defending break-point at 5-5 from the 21-year-old from Guernsey effectively handed the first set to her Hantuchova.

Watson shifted up a gear in the second and took her attacking game to the Slovakian, breaking twice to force a decider.

The fighting spirit continued in to the third, where Watson recovered from 4-1 down to get back to 4-3, but Hantuchova proved too strong and broke Watson for a fifth and final time to progress.

"I felt I was close throughout the match," Watson said. "I started slow in the third set - I should have got up while she went to the bathroom [before the final set] and kept moving - but I had plenty of chances and didn't take them."

"I feel like it's an opportunity lost for me. I really looked forward to this draw, but I've played 10 matches already this year - if you'd told me that last year I would have taken it in a second.

"Even though I might be dropping in the rankings, I'm not worried about that. I've had a good start to the year, I've improved as a player, and it's been a positive few weeks."

Watson battled valiantly but Hantuchova proved too strong © Getty Images
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