Wimbledon 2013: The hopes of a nation... Britain's Laura Robson eases home pressure by escaping favourite status

 

Wimbledon

Laura Robson has been learning to cope with fame ever since she won the girls' title here five years ago, but the 19-year-old Briton's celebrity status will reach a new peak if she beats Kaia Kanepi here on Court One this afternoon.

Already the first British woman to reach the fourth round since Sam Smith in 1998, Robson is now one win away from becoming the first home player to appear in a Wimbledon women's quarter-final since Jo Durie in 1994. If Robson does make it to the last eight she will face Serena Williams, assuming the world No 1 and defending champion disposes of Sabine Lisicki on Monday.

At least it helps Robson that Andy Murray is also through to the second week to share the spotlight. "I think he is taking most of it," Robson said. "He is doing amazingly and playing really, really well. It would be great if he manages to get through the later stages of the tournament, but I'm just going to focus on my match on Monday."

Had Robson seen much of Murray, her mixed doubles partner at last summer's Olympics? "I saw him on Saturday morning and stole five minutes of his practice time," she said. "[Agnieszka] Radwanska kicked me off my court before I had finished serving. Andy was doing all his balance and things like that, so I just took his court for a couple of minutes."

Murray's own advice to Robson on Sunday was simple. "I think you just concentrate on one match," he said. "She's 19 years old, so just give her a bit of time to enjoy her tennis."

As if coping with the pressure at her home Grand Slam tournament has not been a big enough challenge for Robson, this is also her first Wimbledon away from her parents, who recently moved to Greece in connection with her father's job as an oil executive.

"I am getting used to it," Robson said. "My mum was here the week before last and the rest of my family are here now, so I'm doing OK." She added: "It must be quite stressful for parents in a week like this. My dad is pretty chilled so he is taking it all in his stride, but my mum is quite happy to watch on TV."

Robson, who at the end of Wimbledon will become the first British woman to be ranked in the world's top 30 since Durie in 1987, has equalled her career-best performance at a Grand Slam tournament by making the fourth round – she reached the same stage of last year's US Open – but needed to come from behind in her latest match on Saturday to do so.

She was second best for a set and a half against New Zealand's Marina Erakovic, who blew her chance when serving for the match in the second set. From 5-3 down Robson won eight matches in a row to take control, eventually winning 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Kanepi, the world No 46, will pose a significant threat. The 28-year-old from Estonia, who knocked out the No 7 seed Angelique Kerber in the second round and the grass-court specialist Alison Riske in the third, has a big game, not dissimilar to Robson's. She is faster and fitter than she has been in the past and also has plenty of experience. She reached a career-high No 15 in the world last year but has been rebuilding her ranking following injury problems.

"I was away for half a year and came back this April," Kanepi said. "In the beginning it's tough, of course, the first few tournaments, but I knew that I can play really well. My body has not forgotten things. It's been a good comeback for me."

Robson will not be underestimating the size of her task. "She has always played really well here and has made the quarters before," the world No 38 said. "I watched her match against Tara Moore in the first round and I watched her on Saturday evening."

The Briton added: "It's definitely going to be a tough match. I'm happy to have got through Friday and Saturday, though, because I went into those matches as favourite, which doesn't usually happen for me in a Slam. I put a lot of pressure on myself for the last two matches to do well."

Live blog: Click here for game-by-game coverage as Laura Robson attempts to reach the quarter-finals with a victory over Kaia Kanepi followed by Andy Murray against Mikhail Youzhny

PROMOTED VIDEO
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.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
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