Robson all smiles after earning Sharapova tie but tears for Watson

Laura Robson has been overshadowed by the achievements of Heather Watson, her fellow British teenager, for most of this year but last night it was the turn of the 2008 Wimbledon junior champion to enjoy her moment in the sun. A chilly day which had got off to a late start because of rain ended with the crowd on Court 16 warmed by the broadest of smiles as the 17-year-old celebrated her first victory in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.

After Watson had been reduced to tears following her 6-2, 4-6, 4-6 defeat to France's Mathilde Johansson, the 19-year-old's chances having been scuppered by an elbow injury, Robson enjoyed the most memorable win of her senior career when she beat Germany's Angelique Kerber 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

Robson joined her fellow Britons, Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong, in the second round – in which Keothavong was beaten 6-2, 6-1 last night by the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova – and this afternoon faces Maria Sharapova, who won Wimbledon when she was Robson's age seven years ago.

"I'm going to play on Court One against Sharapova so that's pretty special," Robson said. "You have to be confident going into these matches because otherwise what's the point? I'm really happy with today, but tomorrow's really important, so I'll have to refocus and get a gameplan."

Twenty months younger than Watson, who broke into the world's top 100 earlier this year, Robson has been through a difficult period. She sacked her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, last week and has been hampered by injuries, partly the result of a growth spurt. Having reached a career-high No 206 in the world rankings last year, she has since slipped to No 254, though last night's win could take her into the top 200 for the first time.

Now 5ft 11in, Robson has also added muscle to her frame. Her movement has been a weakness and is still likely to be the area she has to concentrate on, though she appeared to change direction with more fluency than she has in the past.

Robson's major weapons remain her big leftie serve and pounding ground strokes. She put 71 per cent of her first serves in court and her forehand looked in excellent shape as she belted 53 winners past Kerber, the world No 77. Robson, who had lost to seeded players in the opening round of her first two Wimbledon appearances, recovered well after losing the first set and levelled the match after playing a splendid tie-break, which she won 7-4. She took charge of the third set, winning the first four games, but Kerber took a medical time-out at 4-1 down to have treatment on her left arm, after which she brought the score back to 4-3. Robson kept her nerve however, broke to lead 5-3 with a splendid forehand cross-court winner and then served out for the match.

After the match Robson could barely keep a smile off her face. "In the second set I tried to pump myself up a bit and hang in there," she said. "I felt I played really well on the big points and that's what made the difference."

Watson had appeared in control of her match until she served at 2-3 and 0-40 in the second set. The 19-year-old from Guernsey doubled up in pain, clutching her right elbow, as Johansson hit a rasping forehand return winner. Watson received treatment from a trainer, but despite the strapping on her elbow was clearly struggling with her serve.

Nevertheless, she did not go down without a fight. After losing the second set Watson recovered from 4-2 down in the decider to level at 4-4. When Johansson served at 15-30 in the next game it seemed the momentum might have swung decisively in Watson's favour, but the Frenchwoman held on. Watson, gritting her teeth, saved four match points, but on the fifth she put a forehand into the net.

Watson was in tears afterwards as she bemoaned her luck in suffering the injury when on the brink of the biggest win of her career. "I've never felt anything like this before," she said. "I really wanted to win and I thought I had the match. I'm just asking myself now: 'Why me? Why couldn't it have happened in another tournament? Why this one?' This was the hardest defeat of my professional career because it was a great opportunity for me."

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
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.

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum