Odd couple Robson and Raymond could be crowned queens of Miami

 

Laura Robson and Lisa Raymond are unlikely doubles partners, but the 19-year-old Briton and the 39-year-old American have reached Sunday’s final in Miami in their first tournament together.

They will meet the winners of Friday’s second semi-final, in which Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik were taking on Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta, after their own remarkable victory earlier in the day.

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the world’s No 1 doubles pair, having won three of the last four Grand Slam titles, but the Italians were outplayed as Robson and Raymond, who needed a wild card to play in the tournament, won 6-1, 6-2 in just 57 minutes.

“Straight from the start we were firing,” Robson told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I was very aggressive from the baseline and Lisa was picking them off at the net. She helps me refocus because I start singing along to the music and she says: ‘Come on, focus.’”

Raymond has been playing with Sam Stosur this season, but the Australian was injured and unable to play in Miami. Raymond’s agent recommended Robson as a replacement and the pair clicked immediately.

Robson is the world No 278 in doubles, but that is a reflection of her lack of matches rather than her talent. She arrived in Miami having played only four women’s doubles matches on the tour – and lost them all – since last year’s pre-Wimbledon tournament at Eastbourne. However, Robson had proved her doubles talent in winning a silver medal alongside Andy Murray in last summer’s Olympic tournament.

Raymond, in contrast, has a superb record in doubles, having won 79 titles, the first of them before Robson was even born. A former world doubles No 1, the American reached a career-high singles ranking of No 15 in 1997 but has concentrated on doubles in recent years.

“I always thought we would suit well together,” Raymond said of her partnership with Robson, who will be playing in her first doubles final at one of the biggest tournaments on the women’s tour. “She has huge groundstrokes and allows me to move well at the net. It’s clicking. It’s been an instant fit.”

Raymond added: “I try not to think about our ages, but she could be my daughter. She has so much energy and excitement and so much ahead of her. It’s fun practising with her, fun playing with her. I’ve been saying all week that I liken her to a young Lindsay Davenport. The way the ball comes off her racket, she’s such a clean striker of the ball, and she has a phenomenal future ahead of her. The fact that she is a leftie as well. Keep an eye out for  this girl.”

Saturday’s singles final brings together Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, the world’s top two players. Sharapova, unbeaten in 11 matches, has lost in all four of her previous finals in Miami, where Williams has been champion five times. Sharapova has lost her last 10 matches against Williams, who has won the last 13 sets they have played.

The men’s final will be played on Sunday. David Ferrer beat Tommy Haas 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the first of the semi-finals and now faces the winner of last night’s later match between Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project