Australian Open - Robson and Ward qualify

Sat, 14 Jan 08:51:00 2012

British duo Laura Robson and James Ward have both qualified for the Australian Open after winning their final qualification matches.

Laura Robson of Britain follows through on a return to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their match at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo - 0

Robson made it into the main draw with a 6-1 7-6 (2) victory over Ukraine's Olga Savchuk while Ward defeated Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-6 (5) 6-2 to confirm his spot.

It means that there will be a total six British players playing in the Australian Open with Andy Murray, Elena Baltacha, Heather Watson and Anne Keothavong already in the draw.

For Robson it will be a first appearance at the Australian Open which takes place in Melbourne – the city of her birth - but she has a tough task against former world number one Jelena Jankovic in the first round.

She admitted though she was delighted to make it after recovering from a small stress fracture in her left shin in November.

"When I first had the injury, I didn't know if I would be able to play here. To qualify is really great. I came in with no expectations. I was only playing points in practice for five days before my first match. I am happy with the way I am playing. Hopefully I can go on," she said.

"My main goal is to play in the Olympics so I need to get into the top 70," said the current world number 133.

"But hopefully I can get into the top 100 at this tournament."

For Ward it will be the first time he has played in a Grand Slam outside of Wimbledon where he received wild cards in 2009 and 2011. He will play Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the main draw.


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