Wimbledon 2013: Laura Robson beats 10th seed Maria Kirilenko

 

WIMBLEDON 2013

  • Venue: All England Club, London
  • Date: 24 June - 7 July

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live, plus 10 live streams available on the BBC Sport website, tablet, mobile and connected TV.

Laura Robson stunned Russian 10th seed Maria Kirilenko to reach the second round of Wimbledon and raise British spirits.

The 19-year-old, ranked 38 in the world, played superbly to win 6-3 6-4 and ensure Andy Murray will not be the only Briton in round two.

Heather Watson was earlier beaten by American teenager Madison Keys, and Tara Moore lost a dramatic match against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi to become the eighth home player to lose in the first round.

Match stats

Robson Kirilenko

Match time: 1hr 18mins

8

Aces

2

3

Double faults

0

53%

1st serve %

60%

80%

1st serve win %

66%

59%

2nd serve win %

48%

31

Winners

8

17

Errors

4

3/6

Break points

1/2

Robson gave further evidence on Court One that she can compete with the top players, restricting world number 10 Kirilenko to a single break as her sometimes unreliable serve worked well.

"I think it was a big one for me because, although I really like grass and I seem to play well on it, I've never actually done overly well here," said Robson.

"I've only made the second round once, so it was a big win for me. I think it was good that I managed to tough it out after I got so nervous in the second set."

With her heavy forehand controlling things from the baseline, Robson broke at 4-3 with two blistering returns before serving out the set.

A thumping backhand down the line gave the Briton a break early in the second set, and a forehand return put her within sight of the finishing line at 4-1.

Robson was in complete control, but her ball toss deserted her as she was broken for the first time in a nervous game.

"That's nothing new, unfortunately," she said afterwards. "It's something that I'm working on."

The pressure was on when the time came to serve again at 4-3 but, with new coach Miles Maclagan looking on, Robson took a close game with a forehand winner and closed out the match with another impressive hold.

Kirilenko joins Kim Clijsters, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Venus Williams among the big names Robson has beaten in the last year.

Graphic

Robson’s serve was so difficult to return because she was able to utilise her 'leftie' serve to devastating effect. She was able to hit both corners of the service box with the same ball toss, and combined with the slice she was able to impart on the ball, Kirilenko had to cover a significant amount of court when returning (nearly 7 metres).

The Londoner will hope to maintain her form against the lower profile Marina Duque-Marino, Colombia's world number 117, in round two on Thursday.

"I think you have to treat every match the same," Robson added. "Just go out there, stay focused the whole time, just believe that you can pull through."

Watson, the British number two, had earlier gone down 6-3 7-5 in the opening match on Court Two.

The 21-year-old from Guernsey reached the third round last year and qualified by right this time, but was short of matches after a two-month absence with glandular fever.

She also ran into one of the game's rising stars in fine form.

Keys, 18, was reported to have been unwell over the weekend but there were no signs of that when she cracked forehand and backhand winners to break serve in game three.

Another break gave the American the set, before Watson stepped up the aggression at the start of the second to move ahead at 2-1.

Analysis

"I'd say Laura Robson will go on to be a top-10 player for sure, maybe top five.

"She has got all the goods. It's just a matter of whether she can take it to the next level. You never know whether a player will plateau out or not but it looks to me like she has the potential."

However, Keys - ranked four places above the Briton at a career-high of 52 - always had the edge in power.

She hit back to level at 4-4, fired down two aces to get out of trouble in the next game, and benefited from two net cords as she broke again to wrap up a deserved win after one hour and 16 minutes.

"Some outsiders might look at my draw and think, 'She hasn't got a seeded player, she's got a good draw,'" said Watson.

"But I know Madison is a good player. She's going to be top 30 soon and maybe even higher. It is very tough to get up there."

Wimbledon debutant Moore, ranked 194, battled hard against Kanepi in the early evening on Court 17, but the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist came through 7-5 5-7 7-5.

"Obviously disappointment is the first emotion when you lose a tight three-setter," said the 20-year-old Moore.

"But, from where I've come from over the last six months, I am taking the positives. Hopefully next year I can come back and win these matches.

"I am out there working my butt off every day just to play these big tournaments."

Moore had earlier used Twitter to defend compatriots Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong - who also exited at the first round stage - by claiming people did not recognise the work they were putting in.

"Bally and Anne are people I look up to and people I've seen training every day," said Moore.

"I know how hard they work and I work just as hard, so I want people to see that."

Heather Watson

Wimbledon 2013: Defeated Heather Watson admits I'm not fully fit