Heather Watson and Laura Robson's double act adds to growing British optimism

Two home prospects warm up for Olympics – while 20-year-old faces Radwanska today

There is every chance that they will be major rivals for years to come, but in the next few weeks Heather Watson and Laura Robson will be united in a common cause. The two young Britons have been given a wild card into the doubles competition at next month's Olympics and yesterday they took the chance to practise their teamwork.

Although the result was a straight-sets defeat to Sabine Lisicki and Hsieh Su-wei, there was confirmation that the friendship between two women who are potentially the best to emerge from the British female ranks for many a year is growing stronger.

With Anne Keothavong and Elena Baltacha, so long Britain's standard bearers, still competing at the highest level – the two 28-year-olds will both play singles at the Olympics – the women's game here has not been in such good shape for a long time. The relationship between Keothavong and Baltacha has not always been the warmest, but Watson and Robson are firm friends, as was evident yesterday.

Robson was asked about her doubles partner's breakfast habits, Watson having revealed that she starts every day at Wimbledon with smoked salmon and eggs. "Heather has disgusting stuff for breakfast," Robson said. "You're just so boring," Watson replied. "At Fed Cup she was having anchovies or herring," Robson countered. "Herring and salmon and all these things. I was just focusing on my cereal. Anne and Heather, they're in a world of their own at breakfast."

Watson, at 20, is two years older than Robson. She has been based at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Florida since she was 12, while Robson has mostly trained in Britain, although she had a spell in Paris. Because of their ages they were often at different events as juniors, although they played several Grand Slam junior tournaments together. Robson won the girls' title here in 2008 and Watson won the US Open junior event the following year.

"We go to dinner and movies and stuff," Watson said. "We hang out more when we're here in England. It's a lot easier to see each other here or when we're away at tournaments, because now we're starting to go to more tournaments together."

Robson, the world No 97, recently overtook Watson in the world rankings, but their positions will change after Wimbledon. While Robson lost in the first round, Watson, the world No 103, is expected to climb 20 places after reaching the third round. She would go even higher if she beats Agnieszka Radwanska today but knows she faces a big test against the world No 3.

Watson loves the big occasion, as she proved when she went within six points of beating Maria Sharapova at last year's US Open. "That match was good for me," Watson said. "It gave me confidence, let me know where I stood. I love getting the opportunity to play the top players because it helps me gain experience and lets me know what I need to work on. I go into every match thinking I've got a shot, otherwise there's not really much point in me even going out there. I believe in myself, I believe in my game."

As for the challenge of facing 23-year-old Radwanska, a stylish player who has never gone beyond the quarter-finals here, Watson said: "I've got a DVD of her previous match, so I'll be watching that tonight. I know she's got very good hands. She's not necessarily the most powerful of the top players, but she's very smart and physically very fit, so she'll be chasing every ball." Having had trouble sleeping, Watson was asked how she planned to have a better night. "Drink some milk, eat lots of chicken and open the windows," she said.

Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own