Robson crashes out in qualifying

Former world No.27 Laura Robson suffers early exit in round one of qualifying.

Laura Robson went out in the first round of Australian Open qualifying.
Photo by: Getty Images

Former world No.27 Laura Robson has crashed out in the first round of Australian Open qualifying, falling to Frenchwoman Amandine Hesse 6-2 6-4.

Robson, 22, has slowly been restoring her ranking since June 2015, when she returned from a wrist injury that forced her to miss 17 months.

Since returning her ranking has risen up to No.222, which does not grant automatic qualification to Grand Slams, so progressing through qualifying was her only ticket into the main draw.

Robson and Hesse had never met before on tour and early on it was the Frenchwoman who took control of the match, breaking the Brit in the third game before consolidating quickly to open an early lead

Robson was only hitting 39 per cent of her first serves and Hesse quickly took advantage to break again in the seventh game before closing out the set 6-2.

The Frenchwoman did not face a break point in the opener and was able to continue the pressure in the second set, breaking Robson in the opening game and racing to a 2-0 lead.

The pair exchanged service holds before Robson was able to fight her way into a Hesse service game, as her first serve percentage dropped to 48 per cent in the set.

With the set level at 4-4, Robson had the chance to take the lead, however a double fault and unforced errors cost her dearly as Hesse was able to claim the decisive break and serve out the match to claim the victory.

The 23-year-old, who has previously been to the second round of the French Open, won 85 per cent of points on her first serve and was only broken once for the match, while creating nine break opportunities for herself.

The world No.205 will now face the former world No.30 Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second qualifying round, after the American made short work of 10th seed Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-3 6-0.

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