TEENAGER Laura Robson will be looking to succeed where British No1 Elena Baltacha failed yesterday when she begins her French Open campaign today in Paris.
Robson, who was yesterday handed a lucky loser spot after injury reduced the field, will meet 29th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues first on court six this morning.
The 18-year-old looked set to miss out on the main draw at Roland Garros after losing her final qualifying round match against Czech Karolina Pliskova. But the withdrawal of Silvia Soler-Espinosa with an ankle problem handed her a reprieve and a daunting tie with another Spaniard, clay-court specialist Medina Garrigues.
Her late qualification swelled Britain’s female contingent at the French Open to four, the highest for 21 years – although Baltacha was not to last long. The Scot crashed out to US Open champion and sixth seed Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-0 yesterday, her early tenacity crumbling as the Australian found another gear in the second set.
British men’s No1 Andy Murray plays his first-round match against Japan’s world No68 Tatsuma Ito tomorrow, while Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Li Na start their campaigns today.
There was a shock yesterday as American Andy Roddick crashed out at the first hurdle, losing in four sets to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
N Djokovic (1) v P Starace
R Federer (3) v T Kamke
G Simon (11) v R Harrison
L Na (7) v S Cirstea
A Radwanska (3) v B Jovanovski
A Medina Garrigues (29) v L Robson