Laura Robson and Heather Watson, the British No 1 and No 2, both won their opening qualifying matches in Beijing yesterday to move within one victory of places in the main draw for next week's China Open. Robson beat Spain's Garbine Muguruza (the world No 106) 6-3, 6-3, while Watson beat China's Ran Tian (world No 561) 7-5, 6-2.
Robson, who climbed to a career-high No 57 in the world rankings this week following her run to the final in Guangzhou, made a slow start, but after going 3-1 down the 18-year-old Briton took command in the breezy conditions, winning five games in a row to take the first set. Robson, who broke serve six times in the match, now faces the experienced Swede, Johanna Larsson, the world No 84.
Watson, the world No 78, was also in early difficulty against Tian, a wild card. The 20-year-old from Guernsey was 5-2 down in the first set, but quickly turned the match around by concentrating her attack on her opponent's backhand and finding a better range. Watson next plays Italy's Camila Giorgi, the world No 95, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer.
Britain's Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins reached the doubles final in Kuala Lumpur thanks to a 6-3, 7-6 victory over the Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. They will play the winners of today's semi-final, in which Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares face Daniele Bracciali and Marcelo Melo.