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Last Updated: Monday January 19 2009 16:03 GMT

British girls lose at Aussie Open

Mel South, Anne Keothavong and Katie O'Brien

It was a bad day for Britain at the Australian Open tennis tournament, after three British women lost matches.

Anne Keothavong, Mel South and Katie O'Brien all lost on the opening day of the tournament in the first round.

Another British woman, Elena Baltacha, plays her first match on Tuesday, when she takes on Anna-Lena Groenefeld.

Despite the losses all four British women did well to qualify, as it's been a long time since that many have played in the same Grand Slam tournament.

The last time four British women played in a Grand Slam event was at the US Open in 1992.

In Australia, the top British female player Keothavong lost 6-1 6-7 6-1 to 17th seed Anna Chakvetadze, while South was beaten 6-2 6-4 by France's Marion Bartoli.

Murray ready for action

O'Brien was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Romania's Monica Niculescu.

The only British male player in the draw, Andy Murray, begins his bid to win the title on Tuesday, and, as the fourth best player in the world, has a good chance of doing very well. He will play Andrei Pavel from Romania.