Australian Open - Britons win opening qualifiers

Thu, 12 Jan 11:06:00 2012

Britons James Ward, Laura Robson and Naomi Broady came through the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open which starts in Melbourne on Monday.

Britain's James Ward in action at Queen's - 0

Ward, a set down when rain intervened on Wednesday, returned to the court to triumph 6-7(2) 7-6(3) 6-1 over Spaniard Inigo Cervantes-Huegun.

He will next face Czech Ivo Minar.

Robson's first match was a 6-3 6-4 win against American Melanie Oudin, who reached the last eight of the 2009 US Open.

The 17-year-old needed 10 match points to complete the victory, and was also 5-0 up in the second set before an Oudin fightback which included two breaks of serve.

Robson, who was born in Melbourne, next goes up against Italy's Anna Floris.

Before qualifying began, she told the Australian Open website: "It's always better to qualify. I've been lucky enough to get wildcards into Wimbledon for the last few years, but hopefully I won't need one this year."

Broady - Britain's only other player in qualifying, which consists of three rounds before the main draw - beat American Ashley Weinhold 6-4 5-7 6-3.

In the men's main draw Andy Murray is the fourth seed, while there are three British entrants in the women's draw: Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong and Heather Watson.


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