Laura Robson was given a spot in the main draw of the tournament in Madrid, thanks to her protected ranking of 58. The British player, who is still looking to find the form that she had before her wrist injury, was drawn against an in form Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka has been at her best in recent tournaments, defeating the likes of Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber on her way to picking up trophies in Indian Wells and Miami.
Coming into the match today, the two players had never faced each other. This meant that as well as continuing in the tournament,the player who won also got the upper hand in the head to head. It was Azarenka who got the first win in the head to head, by defeating Robson 6-4,6-2.
Robson fails to take her chances
Robson served first in the match and got off to a nervous start. The British player had to fight off a break point, before going on to win the game. In the third game of the set, Azarenka put herself ahead in the set. The world number five raced to a 40-0 lead in the game, this time around, Azarenka did not let the chance to break slip, taking the game on the first time of asking.
Azarenka consolidated the break, with another strong hold of service. There was not another break point opportunity until the sixth game of the set. This time around the chance fell to Robson. The British player, had two chances to break Azarenka, however, she could not take either, as Azarenka upped her game to save both of her opponents chances to break, before extending her lead in the set.
Robson leveled the set in the eighth game. The former British number one found herself with another two chances to break Azarenka, after some very good play. Despite Azarenka preventing Robson from taking one of the chances, there was nothing that she could do to stop the Brit from capitalizing on her second break point opportunity.
The score in the set was not level for long, as Azarenka broke Robson back straight away. Robson had the opportunity to hold her serve, however, after a couple of errors and some good play by Azarenka, the Brit soon found herself facing a break point. Robson could do nothing to prevent Azarenka from utilizing her chance to put herself back ahead in the set.
With the score at 5-4 in her favor, Azarenka was serving to win the first set. The world number five, did not have it easy though, as Robson fought hard to keep herself in the set. Robson worked herself into a position to break Azarenka, but the British player failed to take her chance, once again. After saving the break point, Azarenka comfortably served out the set. The former world number one took the set with her first set point, putting herself in a commanding position in the match.
Azarenka comfortably wins the second set
Azarenka raced to a 4-0 lead in the set, with some impressive play, showing just why she is being tipped to achieve great things this year. The world number five, broke Robson in the very first game of the set, before winning her serve with ease. Azarenka then broke Robson again in the third game, despite Robson having the chance to win the game herself.
Robson had the opportunity to get a break back in the fourth game of the set. The British player had two break point opportunities, both of which Azarenka saved. Azarenka then gifted Robson another break point chance, however, the British player failed to make the most of the chance once again, which allowed Azarenka to go on and extend her lead in the set.
The former British number one, eventually got herself onto the scoreboard in the fifth game. Robson fought off a break point before going on to win her first game of the set. Azarenka extended her lead in the set, with a strong hold of serve to love, putting herself 5-1 ahead. Robson needed to hold her service game to keep herself in the match. It was a tough battle from both players, with Azarenka having five match points, all of which the British player managed to save. In the end Robson found a way to win the game, to keep herself alive in the match, for at least one more game.
Unfortunately for Robson, the match was over in the very next game. The British player showed signs of the form she had prior to her injury, as she worked herself a break point opportunity, capitalizing on Azarenka's nervousness whilst serving for the match. Once again though, Robson could not take her chance to break, which allowed Azarenka to regain control of the game. From here, Azarenka went on to take the match, the world number five did not faulter when it came to taking her sixth match point opportunity.
After an hour and twenty five minutes, Azarenka overcame a battling Robson in straight sets. The former world number one progresses into the second round where she will face Alize Cornet.