The British challenge in the women’s singles of the Australian Open ended within three hours of the start of the competition as Laura Robson and Heather Watson lose out in the first round.
Both players took on higher-ranked opposition, but the manner of their defeats differed a great deal.
Robson spent just 50 minutes on court in a 6-3 6-0 thrashing by 18th seed Belgian, Kirsten Flipkens – the Briton’s first full match of the season following a wrist injury.
Watson, in contrast, kept Daniela Hantuchova occupied for two hours and 34 minutes before going down 7-5 3-6 6-3 to the Slovakian.
With both Robson and Watson scheduled among the opening matches, Andy Murray remains the lone Briton in singles competition.
“It was up and down the whole time, and I don’t think I ever really got into a rhythm at all,” said Robson.
“I wasn’t really able to deal with her slice that well. It just didn’t go well. I definitely expected to play better, but it happens.
“And I didn’t really have any expectations going in because I didn’t know what it was going to be like out there.”
21-year-old Watson, who came through three rounds of qualifying, recovered an early break in the first set but double-faulted facing a fourth break point at 5-5. She returned in the second, breaking twice to force a decider.
The British Tennis player from Guernsey fought back in the decider but it was the 31st seed Slovakian, Hantuchova, who used all her experience to see out the match.