Growing pains end reign for Robson
Thursday 02 July 2009
The raw talent and mentality is demonstrably in place, but Laura Robson yesterday had a painful reminder that these assets must still be harnessed to her physical development. Still only 15, Robson surrendered her girls' singles title when a back injury contributed to her third-round defeat by Quirine Lemoine, of the Netherlands.
The rising star of the British game summoned the trainer after a disastrous start, having lost the first three games, two on her own serve. The heat was overpowering, and the home crowd sat mute in anxiety. But Robson got to her feet, and soon inspired boisterous support from Court 18 with the sort of tenacity that is fast becoming familiar. The girl who survived a 43-game epic in the first round of the ladies' doubles this time persevered through 2 hours and 17 minutes before eventually succumbing 6-2, 4-6, 8-6.
After her treatment, the second seed promptly retrieved one of the breaks against her but she was still lacking her usual mobility and Lemoine broke back before serving out for the first set. Robson regrouped to force a decider, and courageously salvaged three match points at 3-5, only to be broken to love in the 13th game. Robson had mustered just two aces in the match. Her discomfort required her to pull out of a scheduled doubles match later in the day.
"We don't know exactly what the problem is yet, but hopefully we will find out in the next couple of days," she said. "It was a bit of a spasm, but I expect it will get better. It gradually got worse throughout the match, and it felt like I couldn't hit the ball very hard – especially on my serve. So it was difficult, but I just wanted to keep playing."
It was a dispiriting end to her tournament, but she showed mature perspective. "It's really disappointing, a bit frustrating as well, but you can only learn from it," she said. "I thought that my first two matches in the juniors were pretty good, and against [Daniela] Hantuchova [in the women's singles] I was proud of myself. So it has been a good two weeks. It is just disappointing it had to end this way."
Tom Farquharson, the last Briton in the boys' singles, was meanwhile beaten in straight sets by the Australian third seed, Bernard Tomic. But something of his younger brother's form rubbed off on Jamie Murray, who made the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles in the company of Liezel Huber as they disposed of the sixth seeds, Mike Bryan and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
Wilfried Zaha grabs rare opportunity to impress new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez close to exit as Atletico Madrid admit interest
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen and Daley Blind on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Seydou Keita refuses Pepe handshake before throwing water bottle prior to Roma vs Real Madrid match
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us