Wimbledon 2011: Laura Robson loses to Maria Sharapova in round two

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport at Wimbledon

Laura Robson's hope of a shock victory over Maria Sharapova came to an end as the fifth seed recovered from a poor start to make round three of Wimbledon.

It seemed a huge upset could be on the cards when 254th-ranked Robson took a 4-1 lead in the first set on Court One.

But the 17-year-old British wildcard was pegged back and her Russian opponent powered through to win 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in an hour and 48 minutes.

There are now no British players left in the women's singles.

Robson's defeat came shortly after compatriot Elena Baltacha was beaten 4-6 6-2 7-5 by Shuai Peng, meaning Andy Murray is the only home representative still standing in either main draw.

But there are no such concerns for 2004 champion Sharapova, who can look forward to a third-round meeting with unseeded Czech Klara Zakopalova on Saturday.

"Laura started off the match so well, going for her shots and serving well," the 24-year-old told BBC Sport.

"I couldn't get too many looks at her first serve but I hung on in there and started to play better.

"It's understandable the crowd is on her side; she's young and moving up the rankings so they should be behind her.

"I didn't play my best today, made a few more errors than I had to. It would be good to come out and improve on those things tomorrow."

Robson was contesting the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time but looked comfortable from the moment she arrived on court.

Returning to the scene of her 2008 girls' singles triumph, the Londoner received a rapturous welcome and managed to save five break points to hold serve in a nine-minute opening game.

Her booming forehand was causing Sharapova all manner of problems and having battled to deuce in game two, she benefited from successive double faults to register an early break of serve.

Robson's delivery proved far more reliable in the early stages and it was not long before she held for 4-1 to assume a commanding position.

The Melbourne-born left-hander was repeatedly outfoxing Sharapova with aggression and variety, but the turning point arrived at 15-0 in game seven.

It appeared that Sharapova had hit a groundstroke beyond the baseline, only for the line judge to stay silent and Robson opt against a Hawk Eye challenge before firing long for 15-15.

The crowd urged her to act but it was too late and two double faults followed as Robson handed back the break and let out a huge scream of displeasure.

Neither player made much of an impression on the other's serve in the next five games and there was little to chose between them in the tie-break until Sharapova edged into a 5-4 lead with a rasping backhand winning.

Robson then put a backhand wide - a Hawk Eye challenge showed it was out by millimetres - and dumped a forehand into the net.

Her support team hung their heads as Sharapova's rose to their feet, with fiance Sasha Vujacic yelling "bravo!".

Sharapova picked up where she left off at the start of the second set and, in a reversal of the opener, she held serve and then broke for 2-0 when Robson went long with a backhand approach.

The Briton responded immediately, with a sliced backhand drop shot bringing her fans to their feet, but Sharapova restored her advantage courtesy of backhand winner the secured a break to love.

She then held to love with three aces and struck again for 5-1 with a perfectly-weighted lob on break point.

Although Robson rallied once more to keep herself in contention at 5-3, and brought up break point in game nine, Sharapova scrambled over the line when Robson miscued a return.

"I'm definitely really, really disappointed," said Robson. "I thought I could have played better on the big points - that's where her experience definitely showed.

"It's a good learning experience for me, it's good to know that I can play as well as the top girls."

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