Laura Robson felt "stuck in mud" during Australian Open exit in first qualifying round

Laura Robson felt "stuck in mud" during exit in first qualifying round
By PA Sport

12/01/2017 at 08:14Updated 12/01/2017 at 09:33

Laura Robson's Australian Open lasted just 74 minutes after the British number five lost in the first round of qualifying to France's Amandine Hesse.

Robson was hoping to build on an encouraging performance at the US Open four months ago but the 22-year-old admitted she felt "stuck in mud" as she made a sluggish start against world number 205 Hesse and never recovered.

Her 6-2 6-4 defeat at Melbourne Park means Robson has failed to win a competitive match since September, while Hesse goes through to meet either Spain's Silvia Soler-Espinosa or the American doubles specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Robson has not won a competitive match since September

Robson has not won a competitive match since SeptemberAFP

"I had a weird thought just before I went on court - I thought last time I played a match here I then didn't play for 18 months," she said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"It maybe wasn't the best thing to happen before a match and I felt flat. I just never got going, it felt like my feet were stuck in mud."

Robson has been searching for a consistent run of results since returning from her nightmare 18 months out with a wrist injury and the Briton, who was born in Melbourne to Australian parents, showed signs of progress last year, winning an ITF event in Landisville, Pennsylvania in August, before reaching the US Open's main draw.

But while there were glimpses here, particularly during a late fightback in the second set, of her excellent ball-striking from the back, too many errors, including nine double faults, cost the world number 222 dear against a steady but unspectacular opponent.

There was a strong British contingent of support among an otherwise sparsely populated Court 13, with Robson's coach Lucie Ahl, Jeremy Bates, Britain's new Fed Cup captain Anne Keothavong and the LTA's performance director Simon Timson in attendance.