Robson falls at first hurdle

Laura Robson is out of Wimbledon at the first hurdle but demonstrated her potential with a performance in which she outclassed one-time quarter finalist Daniela Hantuchova for a set and half and ought to have won the match.

It was Robson’s service which deserted her at key moments, rather than anything Hantuchova had to throw at her, which led the women’s tournament’s youngest competitor since Martina Hingis, 14 years ago, to exit. She led by a set and was a break up in the second before going down 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m still a bit upset but I’m pretty proud of myself played really, really good for a large part of the match but a few things let me down,” Robson said later. She admitted her service was the problem. “It wasn’t as consistent as usual, probably and that had something to do with the atmosphere and the nerves. There were a couple more double faults than I would liked, especially on the big points but I’m still pleased.”

Robson showed throughout that the pencil thin Slovakian who had a Wimbledon quarter final appearance behind her in 2002 was not going to overwhelm her. Beginning with an ace and holding serve in her opening game demonstrated that fact and Robson soon revealed that she boasted the consistent faster serve – firing hers in regularly at 106mph, to Hantuchova’s 100mph, despite the establisher player’s height advantage. Robson broke the 26-year-old’s serve, was reined in to 4-2 by losing her own serve, wobbled on her first set point with a weal backhand into the net but closed it out for 6-3.

If Robson’s serve could only have held firm in the second set, she could be contemplating a second round against last season’s semi finalist Jie Zeng but her supporters – mother Kathy was flanked by Virginia Wade and Ann Jones - saw it fail her when most needed. She had broken Hantuchova to go 3-2 ahead and was two points away from a 4-2 lead when she double faulted at 30-15. The reigning Wimbledon Girls’ Singles champion defended a break point at 30-40 in the same game when, seemingly striving to push in bigger second serves than usual, she served another double to gift her opponent the break back.

Hantuchova was visibly lifted and Robson palpably tightened. The 15-year-old served to save the set at 5-4 but was unsettled by two passing forehands from her opponent and served up two more doubles to hand her the game and the set. There were a few moments of style from Robson in the third set - her feathered half volley and 103mph ace in her first service game – but Hantuchova had found her way back in and was not to relinquish it. There seemed tro be some gamesmanship as she took an age between points though Robson made nothing of that afterwards and the Slovak said it was a part of her game.

Robson’s flaky netted forehand and yet another double saw Robson broken again and there was a symbolism to the way that a double handed up the match.

“The game when I was the break up in the second I got really nervous and made a couple more mistakes than I should but she started playing more balls in the court. I was thinking what the towels were like this year – they’re really nice,” Robson said.

She said that preparation for the English GCSEs she sat two weeks ago had not affected her performance. “I was supposed to take them in Paris [during the Frech Open] but since I lost [there] I did them in London,” she said. “If I’d got killed love and love I would have come in here with a different opinion.” Next week’s girls tournament is “a whole different story” with more pressure, she concluded. “I’lll think about that next week.”

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
News
David Ryall in Harry Potter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
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.

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015