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Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Saturday, 15 January 2011

Australian Open: Keothavong through but Watson slips up

Australian Open, Melbourne
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January
Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button and BBC Sport website; listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online; full details

Anne Keothavong
Keothavong is hoping to join Elena Baltacha in the main draw in Melbourne

Anne Keothavong made it through to the third and final round of qualifying at the Australian Open but fellow Briton Heather Watson crashed out.

British number two Keothavong, 27, defeated Romania's Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-4 6-2 and is now one match away from a place in the first round proper.

She will take on another Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu, on Sunday.

Watson, meanwhile, lost 7-5 7-6 (7-0) in a tight battle with Lesya Tsurenko of the Ukraine.

The Guernsey-born 18-year-old was 4-1 down in the second set but managed to fight back to force a tie-break.

However, Watson folded in the tie-break, failing to win a point, as her 21-year-old opponent advanced.

"Having fought superbly to twice recover from a break down in the second set, she was comprehensively outplayed in the subsequent tie-break," said BBC Radio 5 live tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend.

"When Tsurenko failed to serve out the match first at 5-4 and then at 6-5, you felt the momentum could be shifting but nothing went right in the tie-break and Heather looked deeply annoyed and frustrated at the end.

"She fought well, especially in those key games on the brink of defeat, and played some lovely tennis at times but her opponent was clever and powerful with a strong serve."

Hopefully I can up my game for tomorrow and get that one last result I need to make the main draw
Anne Keothavong

Keothavong was too strong for Olaru, claiming the decisive break in the ninth game of the first set and then two breaks in the second set as she added to her first-round victory over Darya Kustova of Belarus.

"Obviously I'm pleased to get a win," said 27-year-old Keothavong. "It wasn't my best tennis out there but it was good enough to do the job and I'm looking forward to my next one."

Keothavong has made the main draw in Melbourne just once before in 2009. Only the 20-year-old Romanian, Begu, now stands in her way of a second appearance.

"I don't know her at all. She's obviously won two matches like myself and there's of course a lot to play for so I'm sure it will be a tough one," said the British number two. "Hopefully I can up my game for tomorrow and get that one last result I need to make the main draw."

Earlier in the week, Katie O'Brien and James Ward lost in the first round of qualifying.

O'Brien suffered a 3-6 7-5 6-3 defeat by Luxembourg's Mandy Minella while Ward, Britain's only male representative in qualifying with fifth seed Andy Murray set to face Slovakian Karol Beck in the first-round proper, went down 6-3 6-4 to Paul Capdeville.

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see also
Murray opens with Melbourne win
18 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Sport rallies round flood victims
13 Jan 11 |  Sport Homepage
Injured Robson out of Aussie Open
09 Jan 11 |  Tennis

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