Frustrated Robson pays for mistakes


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The Independent Online

Laura Robson returned yesterday to Court 13, where she won on her US Open debut earlier in the week, but was unable to rediscover her winning touch. Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 29-year-old Spaniard playing in her 32nd consecutive Grand Slam tournament, had too much know-how for the 17-year-old Briton, who lost 6-2, 6-3.

What Medina Garrigues, the world No 33, lacked in major weapons she made up for with her consistency as she kept making Robson play the extra ball. Robson, the youngest player in the world's top 200, went for her shots, which was a sound enough strategy, but made too many mistakes. The match statistics told their own story: Robson hit 20 winners to the Spaniard's nine but made 32 unforced errors to her opponent's six.

The first set turned when Robson was broken at 2-2 when she hit a forehand long. Medina Garrigues broke again to lead 5-2, upon which Robson threw her racket to the floor in frustration, and served out for the set with an ace.

Robson's best chance of turning the match around came when Medina Garrigues served at 2-3 in the second set, but the Briton was unable to convert two break points. The Spaniard then broke to lead 4-3 and again in the final game. From 40-30 up, Robson hit a double-fault, missed an easy volley and hit a backhand long when going for a winner to hand her opponent victory.

"I just made too many mistakes," Robson said afterwards. "I think I could have played better and I think I tried to go for too much. She always tried to go for the spin and then wait for the shot, so I thought I had to get in there straight away. I just went for too much sometimes."

Despite her disappointment, Robson was happy with her tournament, having won three qualifying rounds and her first match in the main draw. She said she would continue to play with aggression. "I think that's the game that suits me," she said. "I can always work on my consistency. Just because I miss a few now doesn't mean that I should go all defensive all of a sudden."

Robson's defeat left Elena Baltacha as the only British woman left in the competition. The world No 58 plays Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round today. Anne Keothavong lost 7-5, 6-3 to South Africa's Chanelle Scheepers on Tuesday night despite making a flying start. The Briton went 5-2 up and had a set point, but Scheepers took command of the match by winning seven games in a row.