Wimbledon 2013: Laura Robson lifts the British gloom by joining Andy Murray in round two
British number one wins in straight sets over Maria Kirilenko
Laura Robson has become only the second Briton to reach the second round of Wimbledon 2013 with a result that will come as a huge relief to British tennis.
The British number one beat tenth seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-4 on Court One.
It was a commanding performance by the 19-year-old who seemed to rise to the pressure despite admitting she was nervous after the match.
Earlier in the day, Britain's other major Women's Singles hope Heather Watson lost in straight sets, meaning a huge amount of focus was placed on Robson's performance.
However, with Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper and Fed Cup captain Judy Murray watching on, Robson started confidently.
She raced through her first service game inside two minutes, but Kirilenko then held to love after Robson over-hit a couple of simple shots.
Robson powered down two aces to move 2-1 ahead and she took Kirilenko to deuce in the following game but initially struggled to make inroads against the Russian's serve.
That changed in the eighth game. Robson returned a powerful forehand to earn two break points and she grasped the first one available, hitting a sweet cross-court forehand to give her a chance to serve for the set.
Robson, 19, showed no sign of nerves, smashing down a 109mph ace before winning the crucial game when Kirilenko sent a forehand return beyond the baseline.
Kirilenko struggled to get her first serve in at the start of the second set, but she held on by the skin of her teeth.
Robson wasted a good chance to move 15-0 up on Kirilenko's serve when she wastefully put a delicate drop shot into the net when she had three quarters of the court to aim for.
She quickly learned the error of her ways, reverting to her preferred power game. The move paid off as Robson earned a break point and she took advantage with a neat backhand winner off Kirilenko's second serve.
Robson then held to love to move 3-1 up.
The 19-year-old thought she had squandered a chance to move two breaks up in the fifth game when she wasted three break points, but she did not squander a fourth, returning a powerful one-handed forehand winner.
The jitters then hit the young Englishwoman. Robson double-faulted on her way to offering Kirilenko two break opportunities and she converted the second when the home favourite carelessly cleared the baseline with a routine forehand.
Robson took a tense eighth game despite an early double fault and she held back the nerves to clinch the first match point available with another aggressive forehand.
Robson told the BBC: "I am still so nervous, even on the last point I didn't know whether my forehand was good or not.
"I think that was a big one for me because of all the nerves and playing in front of your home crowd at Wimbledon.
"I could have gone 5-1 up in the second and lost my focus a little bit. I started to think about winning and I got back to focusing point by point. I thought I served pretty well today.
"[Winning silver at the Olympics in the mixed doubles] definitely boosted my confidence. Any big win gives you loads of confidence so I am going to go into the next match with a good focus, I think."
Robson, roared to victory by the home fans, will be hopeful of further progress with qualifier Mariana Duque of Colombia her opponent in the second round.
It means last year's embarrassment of only Murray advancing to the second round has not been repeated.
Petr Cech 'to ask' for Arsenal move to keep his family in London
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup after Sepp Blatter resignation - Qatar and Russia under pressure
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez saves female fan from police in amazing gesture
Sepp Blatter quits as Fifa president live: Chuck Blazer exposes decades of bribery and back handers in explosive testimony
Brendan Rodgers' job safe for now but Liverpool owners plan for improvement
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers