French polish rubs gleam off British pair Down Under

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray won his second singles match of the week at the Hopman Cup team event in Perth yesterday but the world No 4 and his partner, Laura Robson, can no longer reach Saturday's final.

After Murray had beaten Nicolas Mahut 7-6, 7-6 and Robson had lost 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 to Kristina Mladenovic, the French pair combined to win the deciding mixed doubles 6-4, 6-2, inflicting a second successive defeat on the Britons.

If it was disappointing for Murray and Robson, who play the United States in their remaining round-robin match tomorrow, the 23-year-old Scot was happy with his performance against the big-serving Mahut, especially after dropping serve in the opening game. Murray won the two tie-breaks 7-3, 7-5.

"There was a big contrast in styles with his serve-and-volley setting up a lot of passing shots and short sharp rallies, but it was a really fun match," Murray said.

"I love it. I wish more guys would play serve-and-volley. I grew up playing my brother, who would always serve-and-volley, so I got used to it from a young age. I've played Nicolas a few times. They've always been tough, but I was lucky to come through." Heather Watson, Britain's 2009 US Open junior champion, reached the quarter-finals of a WTA event for the first time. The 18-year-old from Guernsey beat Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, the world No 57, 7-6, 6-1 in Auckland, New Zealand, where she was due to meet China's Shuai Peng today. Watson, world No 176, should climb into the top 150 next week. British No 2 Anne Keothavong was beaten 7-5, 6-3 by Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko.

Roger Federer progressed at the Qatar Open, beating fellow Swiss Marco Chiudinelli, 7-6, 7-5. Defending champion Andy Roddick won 10 of the last 11 games in beating Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-1 at the Brisbane International to set up a quarter-final with Marcos Baghdatis.

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