sport

Robson too strong for Oudin

Laura Robson advanced past the first round of the Australian Open for the first time in her career with a straight-sets win over Melanie Oudin.

The 18-year-old, born in Melbourne, dominated from the outset with her crushing groundstrokes to go through 6-2 6-3 in 75 minutes.

Robson reached the fourth round of the US Open last year having shocked higher-ranked players Kim Clijsters and Li Na, and she will get the chance at another act of giantkilling when she meets Petra Kvitova next. Czech Kvitova today won the battle of former grand slam winners with Francesca Schiavone.

Hoping to emulate Heather Watson, who made it through to round two on Monday, Robson made the perfect start by breaking the American in the opening game.

And with Oudin struggling to make any impression, a blaze of powerful winners, mostly off the forehand side, enabled Robson to claim the first four games before her opponent finally got on the board.

Oudin, 84th in the world, was unable to stem the tide though and Robson wrapped up the opening set in 35 minutes.

Vocally backed by the crowd, who delivered songs as varied as 'Laura Robson's barmy army' and 'God Save the Queen', Robson maintained her momentum in the second, breaking in the fifth game to establish a 3-2 advantage.

She squandered the lead immediately only for four awful backhands from Oudin to again put Robson in the box seat.

And this time there would be no let-up as Robson held and then broke to complete a fine win.