Williams praises rising star Laura Robson
Serena Williams identified Laura Robson as a player with the complete package as she talked up Britain's teenage tennis hot-shot today.
Robson achieved the rare feat for a 17-year-old of winning a match in the main draw at Wimbledon when she beat Germany's Angelique Kerber in the first round.
The youngster has been tipped for a bright future since winning the girls' title at Wimbledon in 2008, and looks to be coming good on her promise.
She has had to cope with growing pains after shooting up several inches to 5ft 11in in the past year, but reigning Wimbledon champion Williams considers her a player of enormous potential.
"I see her a lot here," Williams said. "I think she's a good player, an all-around good player.
"First of all she's a lefty, which automatically puts you a step ahead. I always wanted to be a lefty. Can you imagine?
"And she moves well. She hits hard. She has a good serve. She just does everything so well. And to be so young, I can't believe she's only 17."
It would be unfair to expect the same success from Robson that Williams achieved as a 17-year-old.
"I had a lot of family support," Williams said. "I think I won the US Open that year. I think I'd been on tour for a year by then."
Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon at 17 in 2004, and Martina Hingis triumphed as a 16-year-old in 1997.
But the women's game has changed, with few teenagers making the breakthrough to the highest level.
There are just five teens in the top 100, all aged 19, with another 19-year-old, Britain's Heather Watson, lurking just outside.
Robson is 254th in the world but expected to soar before long as she chases a single-figure ranking.
Williams says "More power to her", and cannot put her finger on why the game is currently dominated by players in their 20s and 30s.
She said: "I don't know. Everyone was young then. Now everyone's just doing better older."
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