British trio progress in Australian Open qualifying


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The Independent Online

British trio James Ward, Laura Robson and Naomi Broady have progressed through to round two of Australian Open qualifying in Melbourne.

Great Britain's James Ward came back from a set down overnight to win 6-7(2) 7-6(3) 6-1 against Spaniard Inigo Cervantes-Huegun.

Robson required 10 match points to beat American Melanie Oudin 6-3 6-4. 21-year-old Naomi Broady qualifying for the Australian Open for the first time defeated Ashley Weinhold of the USA in three sets 6-4 5-7 6-3.

Ward, who is the 32nd seed in the men's qualifying draw, lost the first set against world No 221 Cervantes-Huegun yesterday but resumed the match in much better touch.

He won a close second set on a tie-break before taking six of the next seven games to wrap up the match and progress to play Czech Ivo Minar in the next phase.

Robson breezed through her first round match against former US Open quarter-finalist Oudin with a 6-3 6-4 straight sets win.

The 17-year-old, seeded 14 in qualifying raced, into a 5-0 lead in the second set of the contest before nervously conceding two breaks of serve.

But she wrapped up the match on her 10 match point to set up a second round tie against Italy’s Anna Floris.

The Melbourne-born Briton is aiming to reach the main women’s draw in Australia for the first time.

Naomi Broady joined Robson in the second round as she saw off the challenge of another American, Ashley Weinhold, 6-4 5-7 6-3.

The world No 195 will play another American, 17 seed Alison Riske, in round two after she beat the 2009 Wimbledon girl’s champion Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.

The main Australian Open draw will take place at 23:00GMT on Thursday and the first round will start on Monday, 16 January.