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British number one Laura Robson is out of the Japan Open after a straight-sets defeat to veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm.
Robson’s decision to accept a wild card into the Osaka tournament proved fruitless as she capitulated rather tamely, going down 6-4 6-4 to her 43-year-old opponent in an hour and 24 minutes.
Robson, 19, fully 24 years younger than Date-Krumm, was always just behind on each rally, as her Japanese opponent belied her years with some nifty footwork to inflict a second career defeat on Robson, having also bettered her on the British girl’s debut in the Japan Open three years ago.
The year is ending on a low note for Robson, with just 11 wins on the WTA tour this season, and her ranking has slipped from 27 to 42.
It was also bad news for defending champion Heather Watson who also went out at the first hurdle, beaten 6-4 6-4 by Monica Puig.
The Puerto Rican recovered from 3-0 down in the second set to win five games in a row and set up a 39th victory on the WTA tour this year.
“I’m very happy with my performance today,” she said. “Heather is defending champion and is such a tough player to face as she defends so well.
“It was close all the way and it’s great to get the win and finish the match how I did.”
Next up for Puig is Japanese wildcard Kurumi Nara, a comfortable winner over Caroline Garcia in straight sets.