US Open: Li Na punishes Laura Robson's slow start to prevent repeat shock

 

Flushing Meadows

The weather at the US Open is often unpredictable but to Laura Robson's regret lightning did not strike twice here today.

Twelve months after recording her best result at a Grand Slam event when she beat Li Na in the third round, the 19-year-old Briton was unable to produce a repeat performance against the same opponent at the same stage of this year's tournament. Robson never recovered from a slow start and was beaten 6-2, 7-5 after an hour and 21 minutes.

Robson loves playing on the biggest stages and is rarely over-awed by the occasion, but the world No 32 took too long to find her rhythm in the opening match of the day in the cavernous Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nevertheless, there was no shame in losing to Li, the world No 6, particularly after Robson's difficult build-up to the tournament.

Having suffered a wrist injury while training in Toronto earlier this month, Robson was unable to practise as normal in the build-up to the year's final Grand Slam event and came here having played only two matches since Wimbledon.

Nevertheless, in reaching the third round Robson has lived up to her seeding, having been the first British woman to be seeded at a Grand Slam tournament for 26 years.

The 23,000-capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium was sparsely populated at the start and it took time for the crowd to warm up after a disappointingly one-sided start. Robson dropped her serve in the opening game, trailed 5-1 and lost the first set in just 29 minutes.

However, the Briton's response was good. Robson went 3-0 up in the second set and held firm after Li had levelled at 3-3, only to drop serve at 5-5. From 30-0 up Robson hit a double fault and made three successive errors to give Li the chance to serve for the match. Robson saved one match point before Li converted the second with a splendid kicking second serve ace.

"I thought she played really well," Robson said afterwards. "She didn't give me too many chances in the rally, so I never felt I got a rhythm going with my groundies."

Nevertheless Robson said she felt she was a better player than 12 months ago. "I feel I'm a more confident player as well," she said. "In my first two rounds I thought I played really well and I closed out the matches really well, which is something that has improved a lot over the last 12 months."

Robson will rest her wrist when she returns to Britain. She will also take the opportunity to have her wisdom teeth taken out.

"All the other girls in the locker room are telling me their horror stories," she said with a smile. "Jamie Hampton was trying to scare me. She was like: 'Oh, I couldn't do anything for three weeks'."

After Rafael Nadal moved into the third round for the loss of just three games against Rogerio Dutra Silva, Novak Djokovic joined him by beating Germany's Benjamin Becker 7-6, 6-2, 6-2, though the world No 1 had to save two set points in the first set. Sabine Lisicki, the Wimbledon runner-up, was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
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.

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment