Laura Robson has set her sights on breaking into the top 50 by the end of the year after narrowly missing out on winning a first WTA Tour title.
The 18-year-old was beaten 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 by Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei in the final of an event in Guangzhou, China, having led 3-0 in the decider in a battle lasting two hours, 48 minutes in gruelling humidity.
Though Robson missed out on being the first British winner since Sara Gomer in 1988, she is now set to break the world's top 60 for the first time.
With two more events scheduled in Asia in the next few weeks, a top-50 spot is now a real possibility. "I don't know what my ranking will be after this tournament so I have to do well in Beijing and Osaka to make the top 50," said an exhausted Robson. "If I play any [more events] after that, I have to keep winning for sure."
In her first event since reaching the last 16 at the US Open, Robson began nervously but saved five match points in the second set before reeling off seven straight games to lead 3-0 in the decider.
The world No53 made life difficult with clever changes of pace but when Robson was on her game, she was in charge, until she faded late on.
"In the end I just totally ran out of energy, I kept fighting, but I wasn't able to hit the shots as hard.
''To play in a really tough final like this is a big experience. Hopefully next time I play in a final I'll be a little more ready for it, and hopefully it won'tbe so humid."
Robson had planned to play in Tokyo but missed out because of her performance in Guangzhou. Instead she will work for a few days with her coach, Zeljko Krajan, before attempting to qualify for the Premier event in Beijing next weekend.
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