Robson marches onwards as her junior days start to look numbered

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The current US Open may be Laura Robson's last junior tournament and on the evidence of her second-round victory yesterday the 16-year-old Briton looks determined to go out on a winning note. Robson beat Chanelle Van Nguyen 6-3, 7-6 to earn a third-round meeting with another American, Robin Anderson.

Having fallen at the final stage of qualifying for the senior event here for the second year in succession, Robson spent last week training in preparation for the juniors. The 2008 junior Wimbledon champion, who reached the semi-finals here last year, dropped only three games in beating Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the first round.

That win earned Robson an appearance yesterday on Grandstand, the third of the main show courts. She is two days younger than Van Nguyen, but there was more maturity about Robson's play. Serving seven aces, she had only one break point against her. Van Nguyen regularly struggled to hold her serve, though she successfully defended 10 of the 12 break points against her.

When the second set went to a tie-break Robson showed great coolness under pressure. A backhand winner down the line created match point at 6-3 and she immediately converted it with a nicely angled forehand.

Juniors are restricted in the number of senior tournaments they can enter in an attempt to avoid "teenage burnout". Robson can play in a total of 12 senior events this year and goes to Japan later this month to play her three remaining tournaments. She could play another season on the junior circuit but will also be allowed to play up to 16 senior events next year, as well as the Fed Cup. Robson said that she was not sure whether this would be her last junior tournament.

Britain's two entries in the boys' singles were less impressive, losing their second-round matches. Oliver Golding was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Mitchell Frank, of the United States, while George Morgan went down 6-3, 6-3 to Slovakia's Filip Horansky.