Beaten Robson returns 'tired but happy'

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The Independent Online

Laura Robson experienced déjà vu in the girls' final at the Australian Open yesterday. Just as she did 12 months ago against Ksenia Pervak, the Briton was beaten by an opponent with the advantages of age, strength and experience. The Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova, whose twin Kristyna lost to Robson in the semi-finals, won 6-1 7-6.

Pliskova, 17, is 22 months older than Robson, ranked No 222 in the world and plays regularly on the senior tour. Robson is the world No 405, celebrated her 16th birthday last week and can only play 12 senior tournaments this year because of her age.

The Czech's greater strength was decisive. Robson struggled to cope with the weight of Pliskova's serve, though she fought back well, having been outplayed in the first set.

After dropping her opening serve in the second set, Robson finally broke back when Pliskova served for the match at 5-4. The 2008 junior Wimbledon champion led 4-1 in the tie-break but fell away. A superb running forehand winner down the line saved the first match point but on the second Robson double-faulted. "I wasn't quick off the mark and she took advantage of that," Robson said. "I'm tired, but I've had a really good month in Australia so I can go home happy."

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