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Robson hangs tough to reach Osaka second round

ESPN staff
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Laura Robson will face © Getty Images
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Laura Robson demonstrated her battling qualities as she booked her place in the second round of the HP Open in Osaka with victory over Eleni Daniilidou.

Seeded for the first time in a WTA tournament, Robson joined fellow Brit Heather Watson in the second round with a 6-4 6-2 victory.

But it was not all plain sailing for the world No. 56, who utilised her power to good effect to fend off three break points as a single break decided the opener.

Robson looked poised to streak away to victory when she raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but was forced to survive a spirited fightback as the Greek pulled a break back.

However Robson, who is poised to crack the world's top 50 for the first time after a breakthrough summer, held her nerve to wrap up victory in an hour and 36 minutes.

She will face Chinese qualifier Zhou Yi-Miao in the round of 16 after the world No. 228 defeated home favourite Kurumi Nara 7-5 6-4.

Second seed Zheng Jie battled from a set down as she moved into the second round with a 4-6 7-5 6-4 victory over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone's woeful form continued as she retired in her opener against Russia's Olga Puchkova. The Italian, a wildcard in Osaka, trailed 6-4 2-1 when she threw in the towel.

Schiavone's compatriot Camila Giorgi won the opening set but was unable to sustain her challenge against sixth seed Anabel Medina Garrigues as the Spaniard claimed a 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory, while there were also wins for Virginie Razzano and Chanelle Scheepers.

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