Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Johanna Konta

Having 4 Brits in the top 100 didn't last long. Only Heather Watson's ranking has improved in the last week moving up from 71 to 67. Anne Keothavong remains at 76. Laura Robson dropped to 96 and Elena Baltacha dropped out of the top 100 to 102. The players around the 90 to 100 rankings have similar levels of points, so it is not unusual to have fluctuations from week to week.

Heather Watson's rankings will probably drop a bit this week as she isn't playing this week with the Olympics doubles coming up.

 

Current British singles ratings after the Olympics:

 

Heather Watson 70

Anne Keothavong 78

Laura Robson

Elena Baltacha 103

 

There were no ratings points added for the Mixed Doubles so Laura Robson's silver had no effect on her rating. There are separate doubles ratings, but the only British player in the top 100 is Heather Watson at 78.

 

 

Current British singles rankings after the US Open:

 

Heather Watson 72

Laura Robson 75 (going up the rankings following her progress at the Open)

Anne Keothavong 82

Although Elena Baltacha is shown as a fall to 146, she has now retired and so will drop out of the rankings.

Johanna Konte had a good run at the Open and her ranking has shot up from 203 to 148.

 

Laura Robson is continuing her good form. She's just beaten Zheng Jie 6-3 6-3 to reach the last eight of the Guangzhou Open.

The 18-year-old needed just 92 minutes to beat the second seed.

The left-hander dominated her Chinese opponent, ranked 52 places above her in the world, winning over 50% of points both serving and receiving.

She will now face another Chinese player, world number 48, Peng Shuai, in the quarter-finals.

 

Laura is steadily climbing the rankings and is currently the number 1 British woman. At the rate she is going, and considering the rankings of the players she has recently beaten, it is quite realistic to hope that she will get into the top 50 by the end of the season.

Laura Robson has reached her second WTA singles semi-final with victory over Peng Shuai at China's Guangzhou Open.

After more than three hours, 74th-ranked Robson overcame China's world number 47 Peng to win 7-5 5-7 6-2.

Robson, 18, will play Romania's Sorana Cirstea, ranked 30th, in the last four after she saw off Alize Cornet 6-4 6-3.

The Londoner is aiming to become the first British woman to contest a main tour singles final since Jo Durie in 1990 in Newport, USA.

The last British woman to win a WTA singles title was Sara Gomer in July 1988 in Aptos, California.

Having won a silver medal in the Olympic mixed doubles and reached the US Open last 16, Robson's superb season continues.

She beat Zheng Jie to make the last eight and having battled past Peng in hot conditions, she will play Cirstea for the first time.

Robson broke the Peng serve three times, and decisively in game 12, to secure a tight opening set.

It was roles reversed in an equally combative second, but Robson composed herself to dominate the decider.

Originally Posted by El Loro:

Current British singles rankings after the US Open:

 

Heather Watson 72

Laura Robson 75 (going up the rankings following her progress at the Open)

Anne Keothavong 82

Although Elena Baltacha is shown as a fall to 146, she has now retired and so will drop out of the rankings.

Johanna Konte had a good run at the Open and her ranking has shot up from 203 to 148.

 

Ahhh! I wondered what had happened that Baltacha had seemingly dropped away so dramatically.

Laura Robson has become the first British woman for 22 years to reach a WTA singles final with victory over Sorana Cirstea in Guangzhou, China.

The Londoner, 18, beat the Romanian third seed 6-4 6-2 to match Jo Durie's 1990 run to the final in Newport, USA.

Robson will play Chinese Taipei's Su-Wei Hsieh on Saturday after the world number 53 beat fourth seed Urszula Radwanska 6-1 3-6 6-0.

Sara Gomer was the last Briton to win a WTA singles title in 1988.

Robson, who became British number one on Monday with a career-high ranking of 74, has maintained the stunning form she showed in winning a silver medal in the Olympic mixed doubles and then beating Kim Clijsters and Li Na on her way to the fourth round of the US Open.

The Briton, who won the junior Wimbledon title as a 14-year-old, employed new coach Zeljko Krajan after the Olympics and has since gone on the best run of her developing career.

After beating seventh seed Shuai Peng and second seed Zheng Jie on her way the semi-finals in Guangzhou, Robson had too much for third seed Cirstea on Friday.

The teenager survived three break points in the opening game of the match before taking charge, building a 5-1 lead, only for Cirstea to find her range and blast her way back to 5-4 down.

Her hard work was undone, however, as Robson finally earned two set points on the Romanian's serve and converted the first with a thumping forehand winner.

A heavy backhand return into the corner set up a break point early in the second set and the inconsistent Cirstea netted a forehand to put the Briton 2-0 ahead.

Robson looked to have done enough when she won an epic sixth game of the set, converting her sixth break point to move 5-1 clear, but once again failed to serve out the set at the first time of asking.

It did not signal a prolonged fightback from Cirstea, however, with Robson attacking the Romanian's serve to break for the sixth time in the match and wrap up victory after one hour and 30 minutes.

 

Laura Robson failed in her bid to become the first British woman since 1988 to win a WTA singles final as she was beaten 6-3 5-7 6-4 by Su-Wei Hsieh at the Guangzhou Open.

After Hsieh took the first set 6-3, the British number one saved five championship points at 5-3 down in the second set and battled back to win 7-5.

Robson continued to build momentum into the third set, taking a 3-0 lead.

But Hsieh then won five successive games and closed out the win.

 

The current rankings released today:

Laura Robson 57 (up from 74) (as a result of getting to the final)

Heather Watson (78 from 75) (did not play last week)

Anne Keothavong 80 (no change) (did not play last week)

 

Laura Robson is taking a week off before next week's Chinese Open. Heather Watson in playing in Tokyo this week. Her first match is against Sabine Lisicki (ranked 30) and if she wins that she's likely to face Maria Sharapova (ranked 2).

 

Britain's Heather Watson beat world number 30 Sabine Lisicki in straight sets to earn a second-round clash with Maria Sharapova in Tokyo.

The 20-year-old, who came through two matches in qualifying over the weekend, saw off Germany's Lisicki 6-4 7-6 (7-3) at the Pan Pacific Open.

Watson next faces Sharapova, who had a first-round bye as the second seed.

British number one Laura Robson has risen to 57 in the world after reaching her first WTA final on Saturday.

The 18-year-old had planned to play in Tokyo but her run to the final in Guangzhou, where she was beaten 6-3 5-7 6-4 by Su-Wei Hsieh, meant she was unable to make it to Japan for the qualifying rounds.

Watson, ranked 78th, will hope to close the gap in the developing battle for the British number one spot in Tokyo, although she faces a huge test against Sharapova in round two.

The pair have met once before, with the Russian prevailing in three sets at the 2011 US Open.

However, Watson will be buoyed by her victory over Lisicki, who was ranked 12th in the world in May.

A solitary break was enough to give the Briton the opening set as she saved four break points and, after two breaks apiece in the second, Watson dominated the tie-break, moving to 6-1 and converting her third match point.

Britain's Heather Watson was knocked out of the Pan Pacific Open in Japan with a narrow defeat by world number two Maria Sharapova of Russia.

The 20-year-old from Guernsey was edged out 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4 in a match lasting more than three hours and featuring 14 breaks of serve.

Sharapova hit 14 double faults but held firm to repeat her three-set victory over Watson at the 2011 US Open.

Watson came through qualifying and upset Sabine Lisicki in round one.

The world number 78 beat 30th-ranked Lisicki 6-4 7-6 (7-3) but saw her run brought to an end by Sharapova.

"It was a tough three-setter, very physical, but I went out there to win and I gave it everything I had," Watson, who aims to finish 2012 inside the world's top 50, told the Tennis Space website. 

"I maybe didn't take advantage of winning that close first set and trying to get ahead quick in the second.

"But I've gained more experience today, I know what I need to do, I know where I stand, I know what I need to improve."

Watson twice came from a break down in the first set to force a tie-break, in which she overturned a 3-0 deficit and saved set points before coming through when Sharapova netted a forehand.

The Russian broke early in set two and, although Watson struck back, she held for a 3-2 lead with a sixth ace of the match.

Three successive breaks followed, Sharapova with two of them to take control before serving out to force a decider.

For the third set in succession, Watson lost her first service game - but again she found the same response, levelling at 1-1.

Sharapova broke for the eighth time in the match to lead 4-3 and, serving at 5-4, a ninth ace helped her over the line.

"I didn't play my best tennis but I ended up winning the match and I have a chance of going out tomorrow and playing better," said 2009 winner Sharapova, who made 67 unforced errors.

"I hope to be the champion again, I have such good memories of this court. It was the first major tournament I won after my shoulder surgery."

Although Heather Watson won her first round in the qualifying stages for this week's Chinese Open she lost the second round match so misses out on the main competition.

 

Laura Robson fared better winning both rounds of the qualifung stages. Her first match in the main competition was against Kimiko Date-Krumm (one of the more delightful names in tennis). She has won that match winninh 6-4, 6-4. Laura Robson's opponent in the second round is Lourdes Dominguez Lino.

Laura Robson's hopes of breaking into the world's top-50 for the first time suffered a setback when she was knocked out of the China Open in round two.

The 18-year-old Briton was defeated 7-5 6-3 by Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino.

An evenly matched opening set went with serve until Dominguez Lino converted the first break point of the contest in the very last game.

Quick breaks saw the Spaniard take a 3-1 lead in the second and she wrapped up victory in just over 90 minutes.

Robson, who won Olympic mixed doubles silver with Andy Murray this summer, has risen from world number 131 to 60 in a year and became the first British woman to reach a WTA final since 1990 when she was a runner-up at the Guangzhou Open in September.

She also reached the fourth round of the US Open, before losing to defending champion Samantha Stosur.

Robson returns to action at next week's HP Open in Osaka, Japan.

Not a lot of change in the rankings released today:

Laura Robson 56 (from 60)

Heather Watson 71 (no change)

Anne Keothavong 82 (from 80)

 

Laura Robson and Heather Watson are playing in Osaka this week. Laura Robson is seeded 8th and if she gets to the semi-finals stage I think she could break into the top 50. Heather Watson would have to win to have any chance of also getting into the top 50.

 

Elena Baltacha has undergone successful surgery on a foot injury as the Scot contemplates whether to continue her tennis playing career.

The 29-year-old former British number one said in July she would be taking six months off to recover from injury.

She has now posted photographs  of her foot in plaster on Facebook.

"It looks like I'll be on crutches for a few weeks, but, after that, there'll be no stopping me."

Baltacha, now based in Ipswich, has slipped outside the top 100 in the world rankings and now lies at 135 following her inactivity since competing at the Olympics in London.

And she is down to number four in the British rankings behind Laura Robson, Heather Watson and Anne Keothavong.

"I have had the problem for about five years, but this year has been the worst," Baltacha told BBC Sport before her surgery. "I've missed quite a few tournaments and been told that I have to have surgery."

Baltacha said she be looking to do some "pre-season" training in November or December before deciding whether to return to the tennis circuit in February or retire.

She might instead dedicate her time to the Elena Baltacha Academy she has establsihed in Ipswich.

"If I miss that tennis life and want to get on a plane and give it another go, I will do that," he said. "But, if I decide that I want to dedicate my life to the academy, that's what I'll do."

Both Laura Robson and Heather Watson are through to the third round (=quarter finals) of the Osaka Open.

It is possible for them to meet in the final but even if they win their quarter final, it is likely that they would both face significantly higher ranked players in the semi finals.

Mixed fortunes in today's quarter finals:

 

Britain's Heather Watson advanced to the semi-finals of the Japan Open in Osaka but British number one Laura Robson lost in a final set tie-break.

World number 71 Watson beat Pauline Parmentier of France, ranked 73, 7-5 6-3 in just under two hours and is now guaranteed to move into the top 60.

The 20-year-old faces Japan's Misaki Doe after she beat seventh seed Chanelle Scheepers 2-6 6-1 6-3.

But eighth seed Robson lost 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) to Chang Kai-chen of Taipei.

Watson's match featured 12 breaks of serve in the 21 games, with the Guernsey player recording her fourth late in the first set and three more in the second.

Robson,18, the world number 56, dropped her serve twice as she lost the first set to the world number 134, but the deciding set went with serve all the way, with not even a break point for either player, before Chang claimed the crucial advantage.

Britain's Heather Watson is through to her first WTA Tour singles final after beating home favourite Misaki Doi in two tight sets at the Japan Open.

Watson, 20, prevailed 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 in Osaka to set up a meeting with Australian top seed Sam Stosur or Kai-Chen Chang of Chinese Taipei.

Each player broke once in the first set before Watson easily won the tie-break.

World number 71 Watson broke four times to Doi's three in the second set to triumph in two hours, one minute.

Watson's achievement comes just three weeks after Laura Robson became the first British woman to reach a WTA singles final.

Robson, 18, lost in three sets to Su-Wei Hsieh at the Guangzhou Open, with Watson aiming to go one better in Sunday's final.

 

 

Kai-Chen Chong beat the top seed Sam Stosur so the final will be between her and Heather Watson.

This is the first WTA Tour single final that either has reached so there is a real possibility that tomorrow Heather Watson could become the first British woman to win a WTA Tour single final since Sara Gomer in 1988.

Heather Watson has become the first British woman to win a WTA singles title since 1988 after beating Chang Kai-chen in the Japan Open final.

Watson, who had served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, saved four match points when 5-4 down in the third.

The world number 71 recovered to be victorious in the deciding tie-break, winning 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7-4).

Sara Gomer was the last British woman to win on the tour, four years before 20-year-old Watson was born.

Watson's win in Osaka comes less than a month after compatriot Laura Robson made it to the final of the Guangzhou Open in China, becoming the first British woman to reach a WTA singles final since Jo Durie in 1990.

Watson had not previously gone past the quarter-finals of a WTA event and will now replace Robson as the British number one.

The 2009 US Open girls' champion earned 16 break points but conceded 17 in a see-saw battle with world number 134 Chang.

Watson broke four times in the first set, only to drop her serve three times in the second to let the 21-year-old from Chinese Taipei back in to the contest.

And Chang, who beat Sam Stosur in the semi-finals, looked set for victory when she held three match points when serving in the 10th game of the decider.

But Watson, from Guernsey, fought back, and sealed the biggest success of her career with her second match point in the tie-break.

She has also reached the doubles final alongside Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.

They will play United States pair Abigail Spears and Raquel Kops-Jones, with Watson bidding to become the first Briton to win both the singles and doubles at the same WTA tournament since Anne Hobbs in 1985.

Latest rankings show that Anne Keothavong has dropped out of the top 100.

 

Heather Watson 49 (49)

Laura Robson 53 (52)

Anne Keothavong 123 (from 99)

Johanna Konte 150 (152)

and of course Elena Baltacha is moving down due to what is likely her retirement.

 

 

 

Rankings issued today show little change:

Heather Watson remains at 49

Laura Robson remains at 53

Anne Keothavong has fallen to 143

Johanna Keothavong has slipped to 156

 

I believe that the women's tennis season has now finished so I expect these rankings to stay unchanged until next year. There is every reason to hope that Heather Watson and Laura Robson will improve in the rankings.

 

Laura Robson is the WTA's Newcomer Of The Year.

 

Since winning the Wimbledon junior title as a 14-year-old in 2008, she had been touted as one of the next big things in the pros - and in the second half of 2012 she came through on that promise in a big way with a string of big results, most notably a run to the second week of the US Open. And with that, Laura Robson is the WTA's Newcomer Of The Year.

Though she had played some close matches with top players for years, Robson left Wimbledon this year without having converted on any of those, and having never won back-to-back matches at the WTA level - but something clicked on the clay of Palermo the week after Wimbledon, as Robson made her first WTA semifinal, scoring her first Top 30 win along the way against Roberta Vinci.

Two more huge results followed at the end of the summer, as Robson made it all the way to the fourth round of the US Open, the first Brit in 14 years to make the second week of a Grand Slam, then the final of Guangzhou, the first Brit in 22 years to reach a WTA final. Her US Open run was of particular note as she beat Kim Clijsters in the former No.1's last pro match in the second round, as well as beating Li Na in the third round, the first Top 10 win of her career.

Robson finished the year with another WTA quarterfinal over in Osaka.

Having gone into Palermo in July ranked No.113, Robson went as high as No.52 in October, then finished at No.53 on the November 5 year-end rankings.

Robson commented on being the WTA's Newcomer Of The Year.

"It's a huge honor to have won the 2012 WTA Newcomer Of The Year award," Robson commented. "I looked at the list of past winners and it's certainly a very impressive line-up that includes many of my idols growing up - I hope that I can go on to achieve close to what many of the past winners have achieved in their careers. 2012 has been a very enjoyable year for me and I look forward to building on the progress that I have made in 2012 and the season ahead."

And what were Robson's personal highlights from her breakthrough season?

"There have been a few great moments this past year; making the Olympic team and coming away with a silver medal in the mixed doubles, partnering Andy Murray, was a very special moment for me and gave me the extra bit of confidence that helped me play some of my best tennis at the US Open. I reached my first WTA semifinal in Palermo earlier in the year along with my first WTA final in Guangzhou and finished the year with a career-high ranking.

"I am working hard and it's nice that the hard work is paying off!"

 

 

Past winners of the WTA Newcomer of the Year award have included the likes of the Williams sisters, Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova.

 

 

On the BBC website:

 

Elena Baltacha hopes to return from injury in March and believes she can play for at least two more years.

The Scot, 29, under went foot surgery in October and, having not played since the Olympic Games in July, admitted she had doubts over coming back.

She has slipped to 173 in the world but has a protected ranking of 103, so will qualify for Grand Slams on her return.

"My motivation to come back is that I think I've still got two or three more years," Baltacha told BBC Sport.

"I don't think having that last match at the Olympics against Ana [Ivanovic] was the right time to pack it in. To be honest, I really needed that break. I didn't realise how exhausted I was, mentally and emotionally, and I hit a wall.

"Having the six months off, doing a bit of coaching with the EBAT (Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis)  girls, really made me realise where I fell short as a player. Not seeing it as a player but as a coach, it made me realise where I struggled as a player and what I needed to do."

Asked if she believed she could overhaul the likes of Laura Robson and Heather Watson to regain the British number one spot, Baltacha said: "I think anything is possible."

Watson and Robson have excelled in her absence, with the former becoming the first British woman to win a WTA title since 1988 and ending the year ranked 49, and the latter rising to 53 in the world and being named WTA newcomer of the year.

"I'm not ruling anything out but I'm not going into it thinking, 'I have to be number one,'" Baltacha added.

"If I come back and I'm not, I'm still going to be very happy with what I've achieved - being top 50 two years on the trot, all my top-10 wins - I will always be very, very proud of what I achieved.

"If it doesn't happen then that's just the way it is, but if I do, absolutely fantastic."

Baltacha's last match was a second-round loss to Ana Ivanovic at the Olympics, and the Briton admitted that at the time she had not expected to return, saying: "I went in knowing that was going to be my last tournament. I was so tired, mentally and emotionally."

However, Baltacha is now eight weeks into her rehabilitation and several weeks ahead of schedule, with hopes of returning to the practice court in the new year.

The plan is to compete again in Indian Wells,  which would prove a tough test after an eight-month lay-off as one of the most prestigious events on the circuit.

"I know it's probably going to be quite a few levels above what I'll be capable of, but the reason I picked it is it's one of my favourite tournaments," she said.

"It's a good goal and will push me to try and get ready for that and give it a go. If I'm not ready then I'll come back in April and start on the clay. The last two years I've really enjoyed playing on clay. I never thought I'd ever say that but the last two years I've absolutely loved it."

From the BBC:

 

Guernsey tennis player Heather Watson is targeting a top-20 world ranking by the end of 2013.

Watson became the first British woman to win a WTA singles title in 25 years when she won the Japan Open in October.

"It was so special, it's given me the confidence to get fit and motivate myself for the new year," she told BBC Guernsey.

"I have a general idea about world rankings and I'd love to be around the 20s at the end of 2013."

The world number 49 had previously never got past the quarter-finals of a WTA event before her win in Japan and she is excited about the future.

The 20-year-old added: "It's been a great year, but I still feel I have a long way to go and a lot of improving to do which is the exciting thing.

"I'm sitting down with my team this week and discussing what my goals are going to be for next year."

Heather Watson has come through the first round of the Australian Open. She lost the first set, was a break down in the second, but after an injury break when not only her physiotherapist but a doctor had to come out to give her treatment, she recovered to beat Alexandra Cadantu 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Laura Robson put on a commanding display to race past American Melanie Oudin and reach round two of the Australian Open for the first time.

The British number two, who turns 19 next week, hit 11 aces and a succession of forehand winners in a 6-2 6-3 win to join compatriot Heather Watson in the second round.

 

Heather Watson's second round match will be against Ksenia Pervak who beat the number 32 seed Mona Barthel.

Laura Robson's second round match is against the number 8 seed Petra Kvitova.

Heather Watson produced a miraculous escape from three match points down to beat Ksenia Pervak and reach the third round of the Australian Open.

The British number one, 20, looked as good as out when she trailed the Kazakh by a set and 6-3 in the second set tie-break on a blisteringly hot Court Eight.

But Watson refused to buckle, finally finding her rhythm from the baseline at the crucial moment, and she battled back to win 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 after three hours and two minutes.

She will play in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the last 32.

That will be a mighty test against a player who has won all 11 matches and two titles in 2013, but that is a concern for Friday.

For now, the world number 50 can reflect on a day when her tennis was way below par but her fighting spirit proved irresistible.

 

Whatever happens on Friday, Heather Watson will rise in the rankings to at least 43.

Originally Posted by El Loro:

Heather Watson produced a miraculous escape from three match points down to beat Ksenia Pervak and reach the third round of the Australian Open.

The British number one, 20, looked as good as out when she trailed the Kazakh by a set and 6-3 in the second set tie-break on a blisteringly hot Court Eight.

But Watson refused to buckle, finally finding her rhythm from the baseline at the crucial moment, and she battled back to win 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 after three hours and two minutes.

She will play in-form fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the last 32.

That will be a mighty test against a player who has won all 11 matches and two titles in 2013, but that is a concern for Friday.

For now, the world number 50 can reflect on a day when her tennis was way below par but her fighting spirit proved irresistible.

 

Whatever happens on Friday, Heather Watson will rise in the rankings to at least 43.

Great news for British tennis - at long last we're beginning to break through 

Today's great news:

 

Per the BBC website:

Laura Robson claimed another big Grand Slam scalp with an epic late-night win over former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova at the Australian Open.

The British number two beat the Czech eighth seed 2-6 6-3 11-9 in an error-strewn but dramatic match that did not finish until 00:30 local time.

Robson, who turns 19 on Monday, recovered from 3-0 down in the final set to join compatriot Heather Watson in the third round.

She next faces American 29th seed Sloane Stephens, with a chance of matching her run at the US Open, where she beat Li Na and Kim Clijsters on her way to the last 16.

"I knew it was going to be a really tough match," Robson said. "I have always struggled against 'lefties' anyway.

"I was just trying to return her serves and it was very hard. But I knew once I got my returns firing a bit and I got a bit more confidence in my serve, I would get myself into the match, and that is what I managed to do."

On a brutal Melbourne day that saw the temperature peak at 40.4C, conditions were still stifling when the pair walked onto Rod Laver Arena at around 9.30pm local time.

It was the first meeting between the pair, whose games are both based around swinging left-handed serves and heavy forehand, and often compared.

Robson played a desperately nervous opening game, double-faulting twice and netting a volley as she was quickly broken to love, only for Kvitova to hand it straight back.

The pattern was set, with Kvitova taking the first set by virtue of making marginally fewer errors and more winners, albeit struggling herself.

Robson levelled with two breaks in the second set as her faltering forehand return began to find its target more regularly, although both players were crippled by service errors.

The match came down to a decider but with the time approaching midnight, and after an hour and a half of largely ugly tennis, a sizeable number of spectators headed for the exit.

They missed out on a gripping finale, a 94-minute final set in which Kvitova opened aggressively and played her best tennis of the match to lead 3-0.

But the double-faults that plagued her evening finally took their toll, two in the fifth game letting Robson back into the set before a repeat performance in the seventh game.

It was Robson who first had the chance to serve out the match at 6-5 up, but Kvitova came out swinging with a drop shot and a thumping return.

After 13 breaks of serve in three sets, the next six games became a shoot-out as the two players showed why their serves can be such devastating weapons, but it was Kvitova who folded once too often.

Her 18th double-fault of the match - to go alongside 18 aces - helped Robson to another break at 9-9 and, cheered on by the majority of the remaining crowd, the Melbourne-born Londoner closed it out to love.

"I don't think that I ever had a worse serve than today," said Kvitova.

The Czech added: "I think that she surprised me with the serve. She's lefty, it's dangerous and I had some trouble with it. She's trying to play very fast and her forehand is good.

"She had a serve for the match and she didn't make it, but she had a second chance and she did it. She did pretty well."

Heather Watson's Australian Open run came to an end with a straight-sets defeat by Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

After a strong start, the British number one went down 6-3 6-1 in 84 minutes on Hisense Arena.

The classy Radwanska outmanoeuvred Watson in a match that ended under the roof because of rain, and she will face former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic in round four.

 

Laura Robson's match against Sloane Stephens tomorrow will be a good test to see how far Laura Robson has progressed to date in her career as Sloane Stephens (ranked 25) is the closest to Laura in age in the top 50. (Heather Watson is slightly older than both). Sloane Stephens has to be a strong contender for getting to the top of the rankings over the next 2 to 3 years.

Laura Robson's Australian Open campaign came to an end in a straight sets third-round defeat by Sloane Stephens.

The British number two was repeatedly treated for a shoulder problem as she lost 7-5 6-3 in one hour 49 minutes to the 19-year-old American.

Stephens, seeded 29th made a strong start, as Robson struggled with injury.

A string of unforced errors hindered the Briton's progress in the second set and denied her a second successive fourth-round Grand Slam appearance.

Success during this last week for GB in the Federation cup.

 

Great Britain secured a Fed Cup World Group II play-off in April after winning their Euro/Africa Group I play-off against Bulgaria in Eilat, Israel.

Laura Robson put them ahead with a 6-0 6-4 victory over Dia Evtimova.

British number one Heather Watson lost the first set in 25 minutes against Tsvetana Pironkova but captured five successive games to win 1-6 6-4 6-2.

On Wednesday, Britain will learn who they face in the Group II play-off on 20-21 April.

World number 45 Robson was quickly in command against Evtimova, ranked 253, taking the first set in 21 minutes.

Evtimova briefly threatened by breaking the Robson serve early in the second set, but the British number two swiftly broke back and finished things off neatly in under an hour, her fifth win out of five this week.

Watson lost seven games in a row against world number 44 Pironkova but secured her first break of the match in the seventh game of set two and soon took charge of the deciding set, surging into a 4-0 advantage.

Pironkova, 25, broke the Watson serve to get back to 4-2, but Watson promptly broke back then held serve to wrap up the triumph for Britain.

Great Britain (ranked 16) has been drawn away to Argentina (ranked 17) in the Fed Cup World Group II play-offs. Matches to be played 20-21 April,

 

The rest of the draw is:

Belgium (13) v Poland (18)

France (15) v Kazakhstan (19)

and Ukraine (14) v Canada (21).

 

GB team:

Heather Watson (41)

Laura Robson (45)

Anne Keothavong (150)

and Johanna Konta (143)

Argentine team:

Florencia Molinero (214)

Maria Irigoyen (215)

Mailen Aureux (280)

and Paula Ormachea (195)

 

Considering that all 4 of the GB players are currently higher ranked than any of the Argentinians, the GB team must be hopeful though they would have much preferred a home tie.

The rankings shown are the current one on the Fed Cup rankings list for the countries and the WTA singles ones for the individuals.

 

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