Court Report: Baltacha says trip to La Manga showed that Robson could talk a good game

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The Independent Online

Laura Robson was not short of offers of advice after her hugely promising display against Maria Sharapova.

Some of it may go in one ear and out the other but Elena Baltacha, the British No 1, knows better than most how to handle the 2008 junior Wimbledon champion. Both used to train at the Hazelwood Lawn Tennis Club in London and on occasions Baltacha was asked to take Robson under her wing.

"I remember looking after her and another girl in the evenings when we were on a training trip to La Manga," Baltacha said.

"Laura was probably about 10 and I was around 20 or 21. They were quite good mostly, but I did have to tell them off for chatting after lights out. I had to pretend to call the head coach, to scare them into going to sleep."

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Bjorn Borg refused to shave during Wimbledon until he was beaten. Might Andy Murray be doing the same?

The Scot often gives the impression he hasn't found the time to buy a new set of razor blades and he was looking increasingly hirsute last week. By the time he goes on court to face Richard Gasquet tomorrow, however, he is promising a return to the clean-shaven look.

Asked after his victory over Ivan Ljubicic when he had last shaved, Murray replied: "I can't remember. It takes a long time for my beard to grow. But no, it's just been laziness. Then when it gets long it keeps hurting when I pull it, so it's time to shave."

Verdasco at a loss over tax

Fernando Verdasco tweeted last week: "ITF = thieves = shameful". The message caused a flutter at the International Tennis Federation.

Was the Spaniard suggesting corruption in the governing body? Apparently not: ITF is an abbreviation for a proposed European tax.

Order of play for tomorrow

Centre Court (12.0 start): 4 A Murray (GB) v 17 R Gasquet (Fr); 23 V Williams (US) v 32 T Pironkova (Bul); 1 R Nadal (Sp) v 24 J M Del Potro (Arg).

Court One (12.0): 9 M Bartoli (Fr) v 7 S Williams (US); 19 M Llodra (Fr) v 2 N Djokovic (Serb); 18 M Youzhny (Rus) v 3 R Federer (Swit).

Court Two (11.0): 20 Shuai Peng (China) v 5 M Sharapova (Rus); 1 C Wozniacki (Den) v 24 D Cibulkova (Slovak); 10 M Fish (US) v 6 T Berdych (Czech Rep).

Court Three (11.0): N Petrova (Rus) v 4 V Azarenka (Bela); L Kubot (Pol) v F Lopez (Sp); 7 D Ferrer (Spain) v 12 J-W Tsonga (Fr).