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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral