Wimbledon girls' singles: Buzzing Robson takes sting out of poor Peers
Wednesday 01 July 2009
Laura Robson's only moment of anxiety in cruising into the last 16 of the girls' singles came at match point. In backing away fretfully, however, Britain's nascent star was not disclosing a sudden fragility in her temperament – merely eluding the attentions of a persistent wasp. Once able to give the matter due attention, however, she once again worked poor Sally Peers to and fro across the baseline until smearing one last forehand beyond her reach. She had required just 63 minutes to win 6-3, 6-2.
On the opening day of the tournament, Robson had shown herself already well equipped, at just 15, to give an accomplished rival a fright in the senior competition. At this rate, her continued eligibility at this level is going to see her become well schooled in closing out games with confidence.
Her serving was powerful if inconsistent, only 53 per cent of her first serves on target but 81 per cent of those fertile, including eight aces. She pounced in the eighth game, her Australian opponent making a backhand error at 15-40, and served out powerfully, gaining set point with a crisp forehand winner and polishing off the job with an ace. Peers was still reeling when broken in the first game of the second set, and that was that.
Robson remains on course for a showdown with the top seed, Kristina Mladenovic of France, who raced through her tie in 45 minutes after dropping a set in the first round. But the other surviving Britons, Stephanie Cornish and Alexandra Walker, were both beaten in straight sets. As Andy Murray might tell Robson: it is no bad thing getting yourself accustomed to standing alone on the burning deck.
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