Laura Robson has been struggling to find any form since returning from a wrist injury in June last year. The British player has only won 2 matches out of the ten she has played, but has come close to picking up a victory in her last few matches.
Kirsten Flipkens and Robson faced off against each other for only the second time, in this first round clash in Miami. The Belgian came into the match with a lead in the head to head after she defeated Robson at the Australian Open in 2014.
Robson Lets Lead Slip Before Losing The Set In A Tie Break
Robson got off to a strong start in the match, the former British number one, served first in the match and held comfortably. Robson soon found herself with two break point opportunities, as she took a 40-0 lead on Flipkens serve. Flipkens fought off one of Robson's chances; however, Flipkens could do nothing to prevent Robson from capitalizing on her second chance to put herself in a commanding position in the set. The British player consolidated the break of serve by holding her service game to love. Robson was looking comfortable and was playing like she was before her injury.
Flipkens eventually got herself onto the scoreboard in the fourth game of the set. The Belgian then added a second game as she broke Robson's serve on the first time of asking. Flipkens comeback was quickly stopped by Robson, who broke Flipkens straight back.This time around, Robson could not consolidate the break of service. The 22-year-old could not do anything to stop Flipkens from capitalizing on her break point opportunity and putting the set back on serve.
There was not another break point until the eleventh game of the set. Flipkens raced to a 40-0 lead whilst Robson was serving. The Belgian looked like she was going to pick up the break, which would have given her the chance to serve the set out. However, Robson fought back and saved each of the three break points she faced before eventually holding her service. Robson had her own opportunities in the next game to break Flipkens and take the set. The British player, failed to capitalize on the two opportunities she had, before Flipkens held her serve to take the set to a tie break.
Flipkens raced to a 3-0 lead in the tie break, before Robson came back to level the score at 3-3. The tie break was going back and forth, but it was the Belgian who picked up the decisive mini break, as she took the ninth point. Flipkens took the set with her first set point, putting herself in a commanding position in the match.
Flipkens Comfortably Takes The Match
The second set started off completely differently to that of the first. Both players held their opening two service games with relative ease. It was Robson who found herself with the first break point opportunities in the set. The British player had four chances to break Flipkens, however the Belgian managed to fight them all off. After 7 deuces, this game was the longest of the match. Robson's failure to capitalize on the break points was the turning point in the set.
In the very next game, Flipkens made Robson pay for not taking her opportunity to break. The Belgian player capitalized on her first break point chance to put herself ahead in the set and in a commanding position in the match. Whilst serving to consolidate the break, Flipkens had to fight off another break point.
At 5-2 down Robson needed to hold her serve to give herself a fighting chance in the match. The British player quickly found herself facing two break point chances, both of which she saved. After a couple more points, Flipkens found herself with a third break point. This time around, Robson could do nothing to prevent the Belgian from taking her opportunity to win the game, set and match.
After just over an hour and a half, Flipkens ended Robson's hopes of progressing in the tournament. The Belgian now advances into the second round where she will face Madison Keys.