British duo through to Australian Open

Laura Robson
© PA Photos
Jamie Ward and Laura Robson qualify for the Australian Open to take the number of Britons competing in Melbourne up to six.

Great Britain's Jamie Ward and Laura Robson have come through qualifying matches to take their place in next week's Australian Open.

Ward, 24, beat Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-6 [7-5] 6-2 to earn a place in a Grand Slam event for the first time outside of Wimbledon.

"It's a pleasing day for me. I had a couple of tough matches, a couple of long three-setters, so to play well today was great," said Ward.

"Every time you go out there you believe you are going to win but it doesn't happen every week, there are a lot of good players out there.

"Obviously watching Andy [Murray] and what he does and the success he is having it makes you realise what level you have to get to."

Ward could now face Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the opening round.

Seventeen-year-old Robson took 75 minutes to defeat Ukraine's Olga Savchuk, winning 6-1 7-6 [7-2].

"It's the second time I have [come through qualifying], which is very good," said the world number 133.

"And in the last two Grand Slams I have played, I have won the first round in the main draw and I hope I can do that again here."

The pair's progression means that there will be six Britons competing in Melbourne, with Andy Murray, Elena Baltacha, Heather Watson and Anne Keothavong already in the draw.

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5Serbia Novak Djokovic5,325
6Croatia Marin Cilic5,155
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10Canada Milos Raonic3,230
11Bulgaria Grigor Dimitrov3,070
12France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga2,770
13Belgium David Goffin2,560
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