Robson on Murray: 'He's mean to me and I'm mean to him'

Teenage champion pokes fun at world No 4's obsession... and reveals she's still waiting for his birthday present

Laura Robson has got to know Andy Murray much better since she played with him in the Hopman Cup mixed-team event in Perth earlier this month. The 2008 junior Wimbledon champion has been hugely impressed by Murray's professionalism – "He was even drinking a recovery shake at dinner the other day," she said in awe – though she has also noticed a flaw in his character.

"He gets tight occasionally," Robson said here in Melbourne yesterday. "I've seen it. He just chokes big time. Just like he did at the Hopman Cup. And you can tell him I said that."

The choking is not a reference to the world No 4's performances on the court, despite his singles defeat by Tommy Robredo in the Perth final. Robson is talking about Doodle Jump, a game she showed Murray on her iPod. "It's so addictive," Robson said. "You get so tight when you get to 40,000 [points] because you can see the score in the corner. I just refuse to look at the score because I get so tight and then start choking so badly.

"I had the highest score, at 42,000. Martijn [Bok, Robson's coach] gave Andy his iPod and he spent about six hours playing it. I spoke to Jez [Green, Murray's fitness trainer] and he said, 'Yeah, he was playing it at dinner and everything.' Andy's now got the highest score and I have to beat it."

Robson, who celebrated her 16th birthday last week, is growing used to competing with her seniors – and not just at computer games. Although she lost in the second round of qualifying for the singles here, the former world junior No 1 had won two matches in the doubles with her partner, Australia's Sally Peers, going into their third-round match this morning against Vera Dushevina and Anastasia Rodionova. In the second round, Robson and Peers beat Kveta Peschke, the world No 23 in doubles, and Chia-Jung Chuang, the world No 27 and twice a Grand Slam finalist.

While Robson's main focus this week is likely to be on the junior competition – she will aim to go one better in the singles after reaching the final 12 months ago, and will be playing doubles with her fellow Briton Heather Watson, the US Open junior champion – her schedule this year will also include more senior events.

"I really like playing the seniors," Robson said. "It's not quite as much fun as juniors, especially seeing as I did not know that many people last year. But now I'm starting to know everyone a bit better, so I feel a bit more included. There are a lot of Eastern European girls and they all kind of stick together, but I know a few girls now."

Spending an increasing amount of time at the Mouratoglou academy in Paris, where Yanina Wickmayer, Sor- ana Cirstea, Aravane Rezai and Jelena Dokic are all based, has also helped. Yesterday afternoon Robson was heading into Melbourne city centre to go shopping with Dokic, with whom she has become friendly in recent weeks.

"She was quite a scary person at first – it was a bit intimidating with her coach and her boyfriend always with her," Robson said. "But we went on this trip to the mountains, a 10-day kind of character-building exercise, and I guess that was a sort of bonding experience. Then she was in Mauritius when I went there and we stayed in contact over Christmas. She just seems to like me for some reason."

Robson won about £34,000 at the Hopman Cup but did not anticipate a spending spree. "I don't get to spend that money," she said. "It goes in my bank account and I don't see any of it. It's very upsetting, but probably wise."

Her birthday presents included a new iPod from her parents, but she is still waiting for a gift from Murray. "I haven't had anything yet," she said. "I was a bit disappointed, I have to say. But I think he will get me something, because he was joking about getting me a Subway bag and stuff like that. He's definitely going to get me something. He also offered to give me a lesson in Doodle Jump. Very generous."

The relationship with Murray is based on mutual leg-pulling ("He's mean to me and I'm mean to him"), though she has been impressed by the Scot's dedication. "What I especially noticed in Perth was just how professional he is about everything – the warm-up, recovery, everything," she said. "He's very organised."

Because of the time she spends in Paris, Robson is working on her French, despite the fact that "everyone makes fun of me because of my British accent". She also wants to learn Spanish and Russian, though for the moment her best alternative language is "backslang", a coded version of English which she uses in the locker rooms.

"All the British girls know how to speak it," she said. "When you're in the changing rooms at tournaments, everyone is speaking in their own language, but when you speak in English they can understand it, which is really annoying.

"If you start speaking backslang with the other British girls all the foreign players get so annoyed. There was one Slovakian player who said, 'Stop speaking that stupid language.' We said, 'Well, it's just the same as you speaking Slovakian, that's like gibberish to us.' It's very useful and I'm trying to teach just a few of the foreign girls, like the Americans, so they can understand."

The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
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.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
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