Heather Watson: Briton beats Magdalena Rybarikova in Hobart

Heather Watson
Britain's Heather Watson honed her skills at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida as a junior player

Great Britain's Heather Watson reached the Hobart International second round with a straight-sets defeat of Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova.

The 22-year-old won 7-5 6-1 in the WTA event and will next face fifth-seeded American Sloane Stephens.

Leading players are preparing for the Australian Open later this month.

Watson, the world number 49, partnered Andy Murray in a 3-0 win over Australia at the Hopman Cup on Saturday, although the GB duo missed out on a final place.

Top-seeded Australian Casey Dellacqua heads the line-up in Hobart ahead of the year's first major,external-link which starts on 19 January.

Dellacqua. who was beaten by Watson in the Hopman Cup, defeated Della Lauren Davis of the United States 6-4 1-6 6-4 in her opening match.