Laura Robson kicks off season with easy victory in China

Last Updated: 01/01/13 8:57pm

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Laura Robson: Easy victory in China to start new season in style

Laura Robson: Easy victory in China to start new season in style

Sky Bet

Laura Robson launched her new season with a 6-2 6-1 victory over Edina Gallovits-Hall at the Shenzhen Open in China.

The rising British star, 18, wasted little time in dispatching the Romanian, and the convincing victory over her experienced opponent illustrates the improvement she has made in the last couple of years.

In their only previous meeting two years ago on American clay, Robson was hammered 6-0 6-2 by the current world No 107.

Robson is ranked No 7 in the tournament, and she could go deep.

Another Romanian, Monica Niculescu is up next, and a fading Jelena Jankovic her likely quarter-final opponent.

Li Na - who Robson famously beat at the US Open - is the top seed in Shenzhen.

Robson is in the bottom half of the draw where Marion Bartoli, the No 2 seed, will be the main threat to the young Brit.

Against Gallovits-Hall, she was far more ruthless on serve, winning 80 per cent of her first service points.

The Romanian also contributed to her own downfall with eight double faults and she was dominated in all aspects of the game.

Niculsescu will certainly be a tougher nut to crack - she is ranked just five places below Robson in the world rankings at No 58 and the pair have never previously met.

But Robson looked in superb form, and she will start the match a clear favourite.

There was also good news for Robson's fellow-Brit Anne Keothavong, who won two qualifying matches to reach the first round proper.

She beat local wildcard Shilin Xu 6-3 4-6 6-0 and then Italian Nastassja Burnett 6-3 6-4.

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