MELBOURNE, Australia — Answer: Laura Robson. Question: Who was the first player to lose at the 2014 Australian Open. The 19-year old came out rusty and flat after a pre-season marred by injury, falling to a 6-3, 6-0 loss to 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens in a quick 50 minutes.
“Well, it took me a couple of games to actually win a point so it couldn’t really have gotten any worse,” she said about the loss.
Robson, ranked No. 48, has been struggling with a left wrist injury, which forced her to withdraw from her first tournament of the season, the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, and retire from her only match before the Australian Open at the Hobart International. “I prefer not to talk about my wrist because then it’s just going to become this massive excuse and whatnot,” Robson said. “Really she just played better than me.”
Robson lost the first nine points of the match before finally getting on the board in the third game of the match. It didn’t get much better from there. The lack of match play was evident against last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Flipkens, who used her slice particularly well to wear Robson down. Robson spent much of her pre-season training in Florida under her new coach, Nick Saviano, with former college star Jesse Witten traveling with her to tournaments.
“Practice is a lot different to playing a proper match in Slams,” Robson said. “I would have loved to have had some more points beforehand, but that’s what happens sometimes.”
Next up for Flipkens is Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua, who swiftly ended former No. 2 Vera Zvonareva’s comeback, beating the Russian 6-2, 6-2.