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Stephens Tops Robson In Teen Tilt

Sloane Stephens got past Laura Robson in the first round of the Moorilla Hobart International on Sunday.

Published January 06, 2013 07:54

Stephens Tops Robson In Teen Tilt
Sloane Stephens

HOBART, Australia - Sloane Stephens edged fellow teen and rising star Laura Robson on the first day of main draw action at the Moorilla Hobart International on Sunday.

The 19-year-old American Stephens, who rose to a career-high No.29 on the new rankings, is the highest-ranked teen on the WTA. The 18-year-old Brit Robson, who in making her Top 50 debut on the new rankings became the only teen in the Top 50 besides Stephens, is coming off a 2012 season that saw her win the WTA Newcomer Of The Year award.

In the first clash between the two who many expect to be stars for years to come, Stephens was a 64 76(4) victor. The second set was quite a rollercoaster, with Stephens taking a 3-1 lead, losing three games in a row and eventually forcing a tie-break, where she seized control early and did not let go.

"It was windy," Stephens said. "We both played a good match considering the conditions weren't great.

"I played pretty good points at key times, and I think that was the difference."

Stephens kicked off her 2013 season last week with a quarterfinal showing in Brisbane, where she lost to eventual champion Serena Williams.

"Last week was my first tournament since the US Open, so I'm working on getting ready for the Australian Open," Stephens said. "It feels good to get some matches in and get my confidence up."

Sunday's other main draw match saw Belarusian Olga Govortsova down an early break at 2-1 before reeling off 11 of the next 12 games for a 62 61 defeat of No.5 seed Carla Suárez Navarro.

"Carla is a tough opponent," said Govortsova, who is now 2-2 versus the Spaniard. "She doesn't make many mistakes and moves very well. I knew I had to try to put the ball deep, which I think I did well."

The doubles draw also experienced an upset, with Romanians Irina-Camelia Begu and Simona Halep taking down fourth-seeded Liga Dekmeijere and Megan Moulton-Levy.

In the final round of singles qualifying, Mandy Minella, Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, Sílvia Soler-Espinosa and Lauren Davis all were victorious to secure main draw berths.

Defending champ Mona Barthel and No.1 seed Hsieh Su-Wei are among those on Monday's schedule.

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