Wimbledon 2013: Leading lady Laura Robson shows her liking for biggest stagees of all

Briton sweeps aside Russian world No 10 in straight sets in the heat of Court One

Wimbledon

Andy Murray apart, nobody in British tennis responds to a big stage like Laura Robson. Put the 19-year-old in the sport's equivalent of a church hall production and you never know when she might fluff her lines. Put her in the tennis version of The Globe or the Old Vic and she can play even the leading lady off the stage.

Follow game-by-game coverage as Andy Murray attempts to reach the third round with a victory over Yen-Hsun Lu

Robson's latest virtuoso performance came in one of her favourite theatres. Court One was where the Briton won the Wimbledon junior title five years ago and she returned to add to a growing list of memorable triumphs on Grand Slam stages.

Her 6-3, 6-4 victory over Russia's Maria Kirilenko, the world No 10, was Robson's best result here and gives her an outstanding chance of making further progress. She next plays Colombia's Mariana Duque Marino, the world No 117, while her potential third-round opponent is China's Shuai Peng, the world No 26.

Just as she did in beating two Grand Slam champions, Kim Clijsters and Li Na, at last year's US Open, and another, Petra Kvitova, at the Australian Open in January, Robson rose magnificently to the challenge of taking on Kirilenko. She was able to bridge a gap of 27 places in the world rankings with a combination of big serves, bold groundstrokes and a willingness to chase every ball. When she got nervous on the brink of only her second senior victory at the All England Club she kept her cool in impressive fashion.

Kirilenko is an experienced campaigner with six singles titles to her name. The 26-year-old Russian has been in the form of her life and broke into the world's top 10 for the first time by reaching the quarter-finals at the French Open three weeks ago. She is also an accomplished grass-court player. Having reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last summer, she went one round better at the Olympics before losing to Victoria Azarenka in the bronze medal match.

The Russian is a big hitter, but on this occasion she found herself outgunned as Robson cracked 31 winners to her opponent's eight. The first set was close until Kirilenko dropped serve with a double-fault in the eighth game. Robson, having served out for the first set, played beautifully at the start of the second, breaking serve twice with a succession of bold attacking strokes.

When Robson served at 4-1 and 40-15 the Briton was within five points of victory, but nerves momentarily got the better of her. Her big leftie serve, which is a major weapon when she is on song, can wobble under pressure and for the rest of the match she struggled to control her ball toss. Nevertheless, she was always composed enough to catch the ball rather than strike it at the wrong height and held firm, despite Kirilenko fighting back to 4-2 and holding serve for 4-3.

When Robson served a double-fault on the opening point of the next game it seemed that the Briton might be on the verge of imploding but she showed her character with an ace on the next point and then held serve with a big forehand winner down the line.

Serving for the match, Robson took her chance with four bold points in succession: a forehand winner, a winning serve hit wide to Kirilenko's backhand, a big forehand down the line which forced the Russian into a volley error, and finally a forehand winner which clipped the line. She greeted victory with a clenched fist and a smile as broad as Wimbledon Common.

Tara Moore went close to reaching the second round but was unable to mirror Robson's achievement, going down 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 after more than two and a half hours to Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, who as the world No 46 is ranked 148 places higher than the 20-year-old Briton.

On her Wimbledon debut, Moore levelled the match after losing a tight first set and then made another comeback from 3-0 down in the decider, at which point she took a medical time-out for treatment on her left knee, which she had strapped. The Briton broke back, saved one match point when she served at 4-5 and two more at 5-6, but on the fourth she put a forehand in the net under attack from Kanepi.

Heather Watson's Wimbledon ended in disappointment when she was beaten 6-3, 7-5 by Madison Keys, of the United States. Keys is one of the most exciting of a talented group of young Americans. Already No 52 in the world rankings, the strapping 18-year-old had too much power for Watson, who is still recovering from glandular fever, which kept her out for two months earlier this year. Watson, whose speed and athleticism are usually her greatest assets, led 4-2 in the second set but eventually ran out of steam. Nevertheless, she was desperately unlucky in the final game as Keys twice won points with balls that clipped the top of the net and toppled over on to her opponent's side of the court.

"I feel like my game isn't back yet," Watson said afterwards. "I don't think I served well today. I didn't have a high first-serve percentage. My reactions are slow. I'm not moving like I usually move, getting balls back. I don't feel like my game's there yet, so that will come back with time, time to practise. I have a big gap now to get the training in."

Follow game-by-game coverage as Andy Murray attempts to reach the third round with a victory over Yen-Hsun Lu

Brit watch

Men

Andy Murray

Plays Lu Yen-hsun (Taiw) in second round

James Ward

Lost to Lu Yen-hsun (Taiw) 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 in the first round

Kyle Edmund

Lost to Jerzy Janowicz (Pol) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round

Women

Laura Robson

Beat Maria Kirilenko (Rus) 6-3, 6-4 in first round

Heather Watson

Lost to Madison Keys (US) 6-3, 7-5 in the first round

Tara Moore

Lost to Kaia Kanepi (Est) 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in the first round

Anne Keothavong

Lost to Garbine Muguruza (Sp) 6-4, 6-0 in the first round

Johanna Konta

Lost to Jelena Jankovic (Serb) 6-2, 7-5 in the first round

Elena Baltacha

Lost to Flavia Pennetta (It) 6-4, 6-1 in the first round

Samantha Murray

Lost to Camila Giorgi (It) 6-3, 6-4 in the first round

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
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.

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum