Robson ready to rumble
Originally published on 26/02/10 11:17
Regardless of how Laura Robson performs in Luxembourg today, at 12.30 local time she is guaranteed of breaking at least one more British record.
When the 14-year-old walks on court to face Czech Iveta Benesova at the $225,000 tier III WTA Tour singles match.
Tuesday will be the start of something special for British womens tennis
Back in July Robson became the first British girl to win Junior Wimbledon since Annabel Croft in 1984 and today she will break Crofts 26-year record of the youngest Brit to play a WTA match.
Croft was 15 years, 11 months old when she won a round in Birmingham and Robson, who is 14 years and nine months, will be hoping to emulate that performance when she plays Benesova in the opening match on Centre Court.
Her first round task is by no means easy 25-year-old Benesova is the 42nd best player in the world but with the likes of Olympic champion Elena Dementieva, Anna Chakvetadze, Daniela Hantuchova, Caroline Wozniacki, Na Li and Amelie Mauresmo in the same 32-player draw, it could have been a lot worse.
However, one seasoned pro who was quick to issue a reality check was former world No.1 Amelie Mauresmo, who warned Robson that there will be no easy matches on the womens tour.
“There’s no nastiness with players on the senior tour, but we’re professional and we’re all here to win, and it’s not as easy-going as playing in the junior tournaments, the former Wimbledon champion told the Daily Telegraph.
“My advice to her is that what drove me throughout the hard times was the passion. In tough moments, that’s what drives you on and makes you a better player and athlete. Then you have to work hard. I never wanted to quit. I just kept going thinking that great things are going to happen.”
It will be fascinating to see how Robson gets on, particularly after some impressive victories at the second of three ITF senior events she played during September and October.
The left-hander beat another former Wimbledon junior champion, Urszula Radwanska, and wily Israeli veteran Tzipora Obziler both for the loss of just six games and pushed Estonian top 100 player Maret Ani to three sets at the Shrewsbury $75,000 tournament.
Her results at her first three pro events earned her enough points to enter the WTA world singles rankings at No.550, but, in truth, Robson is at the very least playing the tennis of a top 200 woman.
Before she had proved herself in Shrewsbury, many would have said that a debut this autumn on the dog-eat-dog WTA Tour would be too much too soon.
But after those emphatic victories over Radwanska and Obziler Robson looks like easily living up to the hype that surrounded her after her Wimbledon heroics.
Whatever happens in Luxembourg this week, Tuesday will be the start of something special for British womens tennis.
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