Keep calm, carry on - summer will end for British fans

Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:54pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - Just when British sports fans thought the jibes, digs and abuse over their lack of success Down Under over the last few months might finally slow to a mumbled trickle, their athletes gave their colonial brothers further ammunition on Monday.

Already smarting from a 5-0 thrashing in the Ashes cricket series, British hopes in the women's singles draw at the Australian Open ended before they got going with Laura Robson and Heather Watson knocked out in the first round.

On top of that, the pair's losses to 18th seed Kirsten Flipkens and 31st seed Daniela Hantuchova respectively, came less than 24 hours after the England cricket team were humbled at the neighboring Melbourne Cricket Ground in the opening one-day international against Australia.

Robson, who had been forced to withdraw from the warmup Hobart International tournament with a wrist injury last week refused to blame that for her loss on Monday.

"She just played better than me," Robson told reporters of her 6-3 6-0 loss to Flipkens. "I don't think I ever really got into a rhythm at all.

"I wasn't really able to deal with her slice that well.

"I definitely expected to play better, but, you know, it happens."

Robson and Watson were the only two British women to make the main singles draw at Melbourne Park. None are involved in the doubles or mixed doubles.

RIDING WAVE   Continued...

Laura Robson of Britain hits a return to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium during their women's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Brandon Malone