Tennis: Robinson punishes two British prospects

PAUL ROBINSON broke Greg Rusedski's mighty serve twice before losing in the men's singles semi-finals at the National Championships two years ago. Yesterday, Robinson advanced to the quarter-finals after deciding that playing in Shropshire was preferable to "sitting around doing nothing in Sweden when I had the week off from coaching".

As far as Robinson is concerned, his tennis career is over. He finished playing in December last year and moved to Malmo to join his Swedish girlfriend, Asa, a medical student. He has since sought a job in finance while making a few kroner coaching at a tennis club in Lund. He spent part of the summer playing league tennis in Germany and popped over to Cambridge during County Week, helping Northamptonshire gain promotion to Group Four.

Due to mark his 25th birthday on Sunday, men's final day, Robinson is guaranteed pounds 1,100 after battling through the pre-qualifying and reaching the last eight. He plays the No 2 seed, Miles Maclagan, from the West of Scotland, in the quarter-finals, having bruised two players who have featured as British prospects.

The 18-year-old David Sherwood, from Yorkshire, was Robinson's victim in the first round, and yesterday he beat Lincolnshire's Andrew Richardson, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Richardson, 24, was recently coaxed back into the game as Tim Henman's doubles partner after becoming so despondent that he took a three-month break and "looked for something else to do".

Robinson knows the feeling well. "The lifestyle didn't suit me," he said. "I need a solid base, not to be travelling week after week."

Armed with a BA degree in finance from a Texas University, he has spent 10 months looking for a job, but still says, "I'm happier doing what I'm doing than playing full-time tennis."

The win did not surprise Robinson. "I've had a good success rate against Andrew," he said. "I return well, which cancels out his serve a little bit."

Reflecting on his 1996 match against Rusedski, which he lost in three sets, Robinson said, "His serve has always been first class, very difficult to read. But I wasn't impressed with his game from the baseline. He's obviously improved a lot."

It is unlikely to console the vanquished Sherwood and Richardson that visiting coaches have a habit of making a mark at the Nationals. Chris Bradnam won the inaugural men's singles title in 1983, beating Buster Mottram in the final.

Lydia Perkins, a 20-year-old from Middlesbrough with a world ranking of No 591, caused the first tremor in the women's singles by eliminating Karen Cross, the fifth seed, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. Cross, ranked No 166, had difficulty dealing with Perkins' substantial serve. Perkins now plays Julie Pullin, the No 2 seed, in the quarter-finals.

Jo Ward, whose hefty forehand took the title to South Shields in 1994, continues to show signs of reviving her career after numerous injury setbacks.

Ward, the third seed, is due to play Lucie Ahl, the No 7 seed from Devon, in the quarter-finals.

One of the more encouraging aspects of the week was the progress of a 15-year-old Hackney schoolgirl, Anne Keothavong, who advanced through the qualifying event and played Ward in the second round yesterday. Although defeated, 6-2, 6-2, Keothavong, whose parents were refugees from Laos, showed commendable poise and purpose, on the court and off it.

"Lots of people my age, and younger, don't realise all the hard work you have to go through if you want to be a tennis player," she said. "It's not as it easy as it seems."

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker