17 January 2017 | Matt Trollope

Brit Heather Watson has scored her first career victory over Sam Stosur to advance to the second round of the Australian Open.

Watson, who came into the match with a 0-2 head-to-head record against Aussie – losing in Montreal last year and Hong Kong in 2015 – administered a 6-3 3-6 6-0 victory in two hours and 15 minutes.

The defeat takes Stosur’s losing streak to nine; she hasn’t won since beating Camila Giorgi in the first round of the US Open in August.

“It’s just disappointing. I mean, you get a bit sick of this feeling (losing early in Australia). It’s one of those things. You’re disappointed, you’re upset, angry, what could I have done,” Stosur said.

“At the end of the day I feel like I’ve done everything I can to try and prepare as best as I can. I gave it my best shot, and it didn’t happen again. So you can kind of blow things out of proportion and think that everything’s a disaster or you can kind of look at it maybe a little bit more logically and think, OK, what do I have to do to keep getting better?

“That’s what I have to do. I just have to get a little bit better each time. I think once I can get through a match with a win, then that’s going to turn things around.”

This was the first time since her opening-round match at Australian Open 2006 that Stosur had played a match away from Rod Laver Arena.

Despite saying the unfamiliarity of the surroundings did not affect her, from 2-0 up the 18th seed dropped five consecutive games as she struggled with her timing and range.

Watson came into the contest with a simple approach; make a lot of balls, keep them deep, and wait for Stosur to err. She executed perfectly.

Throughout the match she also had success going hard and flat crosscourt into Stosur’s forehand. The Aussie, who has built a career on moving laterally left around her backhand to hit potent forehands, struggles to control the shot when forced to run the other way.

Having built a 5-2 lead, Watson closed out the first set two games later.

Yet it was a more free-swinging Stosur who imposed herself in the second set. She moved ahead 4-1 against an increasingly frustrated Watson, clouting 17 winners and sending down serves at more than 190km/h.

Producing assured play to close out the second set, Stosur went into the third with the crowd in full voice and all of the momentum.

But from here, the Brit was simply tougher.

Watson came out on top of several games that extended to deuce – including a 15-minute fourth-game epic in which both players had multiple game and break points – and grew in confidence as the finish line drew nearer.

Stosur had one last opportunity to get on the board when she fired a succession of winners to reach 40-30 in the sixth game. Yet errors proved her undoing – she finished with 47 overall, more that double Watson’s total.

“I thought the second set was quite good. The first set was a little too erratic. I got off to a good start. It was a little bit up and down,” Stosur reflected.

“In that third, I really thought I played pretty well. To be back even (at a set apiece), yeah, obviously you feel like you’re in a decent position in the match at that point.”