Keothavong keeps alive Aussie Open hopes but O'Brien crashes out

BRITISH No 2 Anne Keothavong wasted little time in progressing to the second round of qualifying at the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Darya Kustova of Belarus in Melbourne.

Keothavong, ranked 118th in the world and seeded second in the qualifying tournament, took just an hour and 14 minutes to dispatch her opponent, who is ranked 163rd in the world.

Eighteen-year-old Heather Watson came through her match against Kristina Mladenovic of France in an hour and 38 minutes, winning 6-3 6-2 on Court 8.

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Mladenovic, ranked 301st in the world, committed 14 double faults but it was still an impressive display from Watson, who now faces Lesva Tsurenko of Ukraine.

But Yorkshire's Katie O'Brien failed to join her compatriots in the second qualifying round after losing in three sets to Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, who is seeded 16th in the preliminary competition.

O'Brien won the first set 6-3 and was ahead in the 10th game of the second set at 5-4 up, but Minella fought back to win the match 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Keothavong will face Romania's Ioana Olaru in the second qualifying round.

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