Infection adds to Laura Robson's frustration


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The Independent Online

Laura Robson revealed after her first-round defeat in the Dubai Duty Free Championships here last night that she will be consulting a specialist because of a recurring chest infection. The 19-year-old Briton, who was beaten 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 by Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, said that four courses of antibiotics had failed to shift the infection, which has been persistent since the start of the year.

"It's just something that I'm living with," Robson said. "I'm seeing a specialist when I get home and we will make another decision then." She added: "It was on and off since the Olympics, now it's worse."

Robson, nevertheless, refused to blame her health for her second successive first-round defeat following her early exit in Doha last week. The world No 43 is usually the one handing out punishment to her elders, but here she lost to an opponent 12 months her junior.

Robson started confidently, dropping just one point in taking a 2-0 lead, but in the following game her forehand started to misfire. Putintseva, the world No 101, levelled at 2-2 and served out for the set, after breaking for a second time.

Although Robson gritted her teeth and quickly took command of the second set, Putintseva responded admirably in the decider, breaking serve twice to lead 5-2. Robson, nevertheless, showed her own fighting qualities, breaking to love for 3-5 and then levelling at 5-5 as Putintseva double-faulted on break point. The momentum appeared to be with the Briton, but Putintseva rallied again to take the tie-break 8-6.

"I just either went for too much or too little, and I just couldn't find the right balance," Robson said. "I feel like I have been practising a little bit better this week and to come out on court and just feel very, very defensive the majority of the match is really disappointing."

Heather Watson reached the second round in Memphis by beating another Kazakhstan player, Galina Voskoboeva 7-5, 5-7, 7-6.