Baltacha reached round two or better at Melbourne Park in 2009, 2010 and 2011

Britain endured a disappointing opening day at the Australian Open as five of its six representatives were beaten.

Elena Baltacha lost 6-2 6-4 to Stephanie Foretz Gacon, Heather Watson 6-1 6-0 to Victoria Azarenka and Laura Robson 6-2 6-0 to Jelena Jankovic.

Ward was beaten 6-4 6-3 6-4 by Blaz Kavcic and Anne Keothavong, suffering from illness, retired against Mona Barthel after losing the first set 6-0.

Andy Murray begins his campaign against American Ryan Harrison on Tuesday.

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Jonathan Overend,
BBC tennis correspondent

A disappointing day for Watson, who can play much better. The start was decent, winning the first game and having a break point in the second, but after that it was total one-way traffic. She wasn’t moving at her best and, for whatever reason, didn’t seem to have as much confidence as she did during the Sharapova match in New York. Azarenka is going to be tough to beat here

Britain had six singles players in the main draw of a foreign Grand Slam for the first time since 1992.

But that quickly became five when Watson, sporting a heavily-strapped left ankle, was dispatched by Azarenka in the first match on a sweltering Rod Laver Arena.

Watson lost their only previous match 6-1 6-1 and it was a similar story as Azarenka set up a second-round meeting with Australian wildcard Casey Dellacqua.

World number three Azarenka looked nervous in the early stages – saving a break point in her opening service game – but soon asserted her authority.

Match stats

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Watson Azarenka
0 Aces 0
56% 1st serves 59%
3 Double faults 5
10 Winners 15
27 Errors 15
44% 1st serve win % 83%
33% 2nd serve win % 50%
31% Receiving pts won 60%
0/1 Break points 6/10

Watson appeared to be struggling with the heat and could not hide her frustration after floating a backhand long to concede the 36-minute first set.

The 105th-ranked right-hander began the second set brightly but Azarenka was finding the corners at will. She sealed the match when Watson netted a backhand for her 27th unforced error.

Baltacha departed shortly before Robson after losing to the lower-ranked Frenchwoman Foretz Gacon 6-2 6-4.

The Scot, Britain’s leading female player, paid for an awful start when she fell 4-0 behind and was unable to haul it back.

She at least found her range in the second set, trading blows with the 30-year-old, who at 107 in the world is 53 places lower than Baltacha, but lost her nerve when serving at 4-4.

Foretz Gacon squandered six break points but broke through on the seventh and duly served it out to advance in one hour and 30 minutes.

Robson, 17, was outclassed by the 13th-seeded Serbian Jankovic, who won in just one hour and nine minutes.

The left-hander looked ill at ease from the off on Margaret Court Arena after dropping her opening service game.

She had three chances to hit back at 3-2 behind but once they went Robson sprayed the ball around seemingly with little gameplan.

Ward, meanwhile, was seen off in two hours and 17 minutes as Kavcic secured a meeting with Juan Martin del Potro in round two.

The 24-year-old Londoner, ranked 161st, had come through qualifying to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam by right for the first time.

But he provided little resistance for world number 103 Kavcic, finishing with a first-serve percentage of 47%.