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.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

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

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
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
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
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition