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Robson Impresses In Guangzhou Opener

Laura Robson enjoyed a smooth passage into the second round of the Guangzhou Open on Tuesday with a 62 64 win over qualifier Jovana Jaksic.

Published September 17, 2013 12:00

Robson Impresses In Guangzhou Opener
Laura Robson

GUANGZHOU, China - Laura Robson put the painful memories from last year's final at the Guangzhou Open behind her with a confident first round win over Jovana Jaksic on Tuesday.

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Twelve months ago, Robson became the first British woman in 22 years to reach a WTA final but, despite leading by a break in the decider, she was pipped to the silverware by an inspired Hsieh Su-Wei. Against Jaksic there was no such drama as Robson took advantage of some early nerves from her teenage opponent to ease through, 62 64.

Despite the scoreline, and the heat, Robson stayed out on court after the match for an impromptu practice session. "I didn't feel so great on my forehand in the second set, so I just wanted to practice it a little bit," Robson said.

With the temperature topping 90ºF, the Brit was also glad to keep her time on court to a minimum. "I've played quite a few tournaments in China already and this one I really like," she added. "It's super, super hot, so it's always tough matches here."

Robson's time in the Far East last year saw her not only chalk up a first WTA final appearance but also a YouTube hit alongside Eugenie Bouchard. However, when quizzed about a potential follow-up, Robson was keeping her cards close to her chest.

"We don't have anything planned because there hasn't been another song with a dance and everything," Robson said. "But maybe if there is another song we'll do something. You'll have to ask Genie!"

Elsewhere, Bojana Jovanovski continued her excellent recent run of form with a surprisingly comfortable win over top seed Sorana Cirstea. Over the weekend, Jovanovski marked her return from a wrist injury at the Tashkent Open with a second career title and she hit the ground running at the Tianhe Sports Center.

A break to love in the opening game put Cirstea immediately on the back foot and after little over an hour on court Jovanovski confidently wrapped up a 62 61 victory.

"It was very tough for me today and she played very well, so all credit to her," Cirstea said. "It was hot and it's tough and I couldn't really adjust and it's a pity because it's a tournament I really enjoy and I was hoping to play better."

Cirstea was not the only seeded casualty, with Urszula Radwanska and Varvara Lepchenko also falling at the first hurdle. No.5 seed Radwanska lost 75 62 to Vesna Dolonc, while Timea Babos won the final four games of the match to edge out No.7 seed Lepchenko, 76(8) 75.

There was better news for No.4 seed Peng Shuai, who along with Zheng Jie and Zheng Saisai, was one three Chinese players to advance.

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