Britain’s only seeded entrant into the women’s draw, Laura Robson, was given a tough opening round match World No. 19 Kirsten Flipkens. It will certainly be an intriguing first-time meeting between the pair, but it will also be a taxing battle on the opening day of the Australian Open.
The 19-year-old Robson has not managed to complete a single match since the end of last season, as she was forced to retire during her first-round match in Hobart earlier this week. She had also earlier pulled out of her opening tournament in Auckland when he began to develop the wrist injury towards the end of the off season.
“I just wasn’t quite ready to play a match (in Hobart), and didn’t want to make anything worse. It seems to be cleared up now. My wrist feels pretty good. It’s just one of those things that a lot of tennis players have, and it comes with the territory.”
While luck may not be on her side, the British no. 1 is confident she will have had enough practice time on court by the time the match comes around on Monday evening and is optimistic about her chances of upsetting Flipkens in the opening round of the tournament.
I’ve had some good practices the last couple of days. Yesterday I hit for the longest time since the end of the off season, which I was really happy with”
18th seed Kirsten Flipkens began her 2014 at the Hobart International, where she reached the quarter-final stage, defeating Marina Erakovic and Storm Sanders before losing to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza.
The Belgian no. 1 had a fantastic 2013 season; she finished the season at no. 20, reached her first Grand Slam semi-final at the Wimbledon championships as well as finishing runner-up at ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Now she will be looking to add to her upturn with a strong showing in the season-opening Grand Slam event.
In most cases, Robson would have been a tough match-up for Flipkens, but her injury scares and weak performances following the US Open make her a considerable underdog for the this first round match.
Prediction: Flipkens in Three Sets