Robson's rise earns Wimbledon wild card

Laura Robson, Britain's junior Wimbledon champion, will play in the main draw at this year's Championships after the All England Club decided last night to award her a wild card. At 15 years and five months, Robson will be the youngest Briton to play at Wimbledon in the Open era and the youngest from any country since Martina Hingis played in the 1995 tournament at 14 years and nine months.

Robson captured the country's imagination last summer when she became the first Briton to win the Wimbledon girls' event since Annabel Croft in 1984. Winners of the junior competition automatically receive a wild card into qualifying for the senior draw, but this is the fourth year in succession that the All England Club has fast-tracked the girls' champion into the main event. Wimbledon begins in 13 days.

There have been only 10 younger players at Wimbledon in modern times. The list features some famous names, including Tracy Austin, Jennifer Capriati, Andrea Jaeger, Gabriela Sabatini and Hingis. Lottie Dod is the youngest Wimbledon champion, having won in 1887 at 15 years and 285 days.

Robson, who will be playing on grass this weekend at the Nottingham Masters exhibition event, made her debut on the senior tour at the end of last year, but has been focusing on her schoolwork recently and has played only junior tournaments in 2009.

After losing to a more experienced opponent in the final of the Australian Open juniors at the start of the year, Robson did not play for three months following an injury scare. Her problem was eventually diagnosed merely as growing pains and she returned to action in a junior event in Milan last month, where she reached the quarter-finals. She lost last week in the second round of the French Open juniors.

Anne Keothavong, the British No 1, has earned a place in the main draw through her ranking. The next four Britons in the rankings, Elena Baltacha, Katie O'Brien, Mel South and Georgie Stoop, all receive wild cards, as do Michelle Larcher de Brito, the 16-year-old Portuguese who attracted so much attention with her grunting and screaming at the French Open, and the American Alexa Glatch.

In the men's event wild cards go to Alex Bogdanovic, who has lost all seven of his first-round matches at Wimbledon, Josh Goodall, James Ward and Dan Evans, as well as Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero and Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, last year's boys' champion.

Andy Murray, the only British man in the main draw through his ranking, will play his first singles match here at this year's Aegon Championships tomorrow. The world No 3, who faces Italy's Andreas Seppi, partnered Lleyton Hewitt last night in a 3-6, 6-3, 12-10 doubles victory over Andy Roddick and Rajeev Ram.

All the Britons in qualifying failed to make it into the main draw, while the two who received wild cards, Goodall and Ward, both fell at the first hurdle. Goodall was beaten 6-3, 7-6 by Luxembourg's Gilles Muller, while Ward went down 6-2, 6-3 to Marcos Baghdatis.

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
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.

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness