Robson delighted by march to final

Laura Robson was largely unknown a week ago and now she's the most famous teenager in Britain since Hermione Granger palled up with Harry Potter. She speaks a bit like her too: rather well, and with more than a hint of cheek. And if she keeps on playing like she has done here this week to reach the girls' singles final, veritable wizardry will be expected of her in future.

That is daft, of course. She is 14. She is just starting out really, for all her successes in the juniors. Even though she is on the fast track, she should not be expected to take part in even minor WTA women's events until the back end of next year. But try telling the fortnight-a-year tennis brigade that. Especially when bookmakers are offering odds as ludicrously low as 50-1 that she will win Wimbledon in the next decade.

Yet Robson welcomes the pressure, she insisted last night, after completing an "overwhelming" march into her final today, which will be played on Court No 1 in front of a no doubt massive audience. She progressed by overpowering Slovakia's Romana Tabakova, 6-2, 7-5, on a packed Court Three.

"I try not to think about what people are saying [about her leap to prominence]," she said after beating the Slovakian. "But it's nice in a way because it means that everyone's thinking you are really good so I'm taking it as a compliment.

"This time next year I'd like to be playing seniors and if I win tomorrow I'll be considered for a wild card for next year's Wimbledon. That would be really good."

The American No 1 seed Melanie Oudin and the Serbian Bojana Jovanovski, the No 9 seed, have already fallen victim to Robson, who has yet to drop a set. But she faces another tough test in the final when she faces the No 3 seed from Thailand, Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.

"It feels really, really good to get this far. It's an overwhelming experience," she said. There were so many people watching me today. The crowd and the support is really, really good."

Tabakova's lack of sportsmanship was exposed in the eighth game of the second set when she bamboozled the home favourite with a sly underhand serve. The tactic left Robson stranded at the baseline and earned the Slovakian a chorus of boos from unimpressed spectators. "That was the first time I've ever seen that in my life. But it worked, so fair play to her," said Robson.

"After that point I was thinking that if she's that desperate, I must be in a good situation."

Robson is the first Briton to reach the girls' singles final at Wimbledon since Annabel Croft in 1984. Carl Maes, the LTA's Head of Women's Tennis, has compared Robson with Kim Clijsters, the Belgian former world No 1, whom he coached from the age of 12 and saw reach the Wimbledon junior final 10 years ago.

"Laura plays at the same level as Clijsters did at her age, and on grass, perhaps even a bit better. But that's no guarantee that she'll take the same path. We'll have to see how she copes."

Clijsters won the US Open in 2005, one of 35 singles WTA tour titles, but injury forced her to retire last year at the age of just 23. Maes warned against putting too much pressure on Robson. "The governing body has been looking at not over-exposing players too quickly. But you don't know how people are going to cope with the media attention. She will have to learn how to say no and not get swallowed up by off-court demands."

Or she'll be gone in a flash.


Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference