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Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Monday, 7 June 2010 14:43 UK

Laura Robson wins Aegon Classic opener in Birmingham

Aegon Classic
Venue: Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham Date: 7-13 June
Daily reports on BBC Sport website. Details of BBC coverage

Laura Robson
Robson missed the French Open to focus on her grass-court preparations

Britain's Laura Robson won her first match on the WTA Tour after Stefanie Voegele withdrew during their first- round meeting at the Aegon Classic.

Robson, who qualified for the event, took the opening set 6-4 but was 1-0 down in the second when the world number 78 retired with a back injury.

The 16-year-old next plays world number 16 Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who was given a bye to round two in Birmingham.

Heather Watson, Katie O'Brien, Melanie South and Naomi Broady all went out.

Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva was the opponent for wildcard Watson, who like Robson has lifted a Grand Slam at junior level and was also looking for her first main-draw win on the WTA Tour.

But the 18-year-old from Guernsey could not emulate her fellow British teenager, losing 6-4 6-3.


Another British casualty was South who twice let substantial leads slip away against former top-10 player Anna Chakvetadze.

South led by a set and 4-1, and then 4-1 in the decider, but lost five games in a row on both occasions to succumb 3-6 6-4 6-4 to Chakvetadze, who is now ranked outside the top 100.

O'Brien, the British number three, was beaten 6-3 6-4 by Kazakhstan's Sesil Karatantcheva while Broady, ranked eighth nationally, went down 6-4 6-4 to American Shenay Perry, who is 150 places above the Briton in the world rankings.

Eleventh seed Melinda Czink was beaten 7-5 6-4 by New Zealander Marina Erakovic but fellow seeds Magdalena Rybarikova, Angelique Kerber and Tamarine Tanasugarn all progressed to round two.

Other notable winners included India's Sania Mirza, playing her first match since marrying Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik in April, and Mirjana Lucic.

Croatian Lucic looked set for a glittering career when she burst onto the scene in 1997, winning a WTA Tour title at the age of 15 before reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon two years later.

But personal and financial problems took their toll and she slid off the radar, barely playing at all between 2003 and 2007.

Since then the 28-year-old has been playing largely on the ITF circuit in the USA, improving her ranking to 195th, and Monday's 6-1 6-2 win over Mariana Duque Marino was her first in the main draw of a WTA Tour event for more than three years.

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see also
Robson ends trying week on a high
06 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Robson breaks into world top 300
26 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Robson loses Aussie girls' final
30 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Briton Robson wins girls' title
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis

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