Sport : Tennis

British duo off to Hobart

22nd December 2012, 08:46am

Heather Watson: Heading to Hobart in January

Heather Watson: Heading to Hobart in January

British stars Heather Watson and Laura Robson will both complete their Australian Open preparations at the Moorilla Hobart International next month.

The tournament takes place from January 6-12 - the week before the Australian Open gets under way.

Watson, who qualified for the main draw last season only to lose in the opening round, said: "I'm very excited to be returning to Hobart in 2013 and I am looking forward to improving on my results there this year when I entered as a qualifier.

"It is a great event, the facilities are first class and it will be great preparation for the Australian Open."

The 20-year-old is the current British number one having claimed that position from Robson at the end of last season when she became the first British player to win a WTA singles title in 24 years with her triumph in Osaka.

At number 49, Watson is currently ranked just four places higher than Robson - so the British number one ranking could be on the line in Tasmania.

Robson, who won silver in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray at this year's Olympics before reaching her first WTA final in Guangzhou, will be making her debut at the event.

Tournament director Mark Handley said: "The tournament is thrilled to have both Robson and Watson. The local community is guaranteed an unforgettable opportunity to see the world's best tennis players compete."

Su-Wei Hsieh, the player who pipped Robson to the title in Guangzhou, is currently the highest-ranked player (25) entered with the two Britons on course to be seeded as they are the seventh and eighth-ranked.

Before arriving in Hobart, Watson will open her season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, while Robson starts back in China at the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open.

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