Blogs & Opinion


Wimbledon 2013: Laura Robson can worry any of top women's players

Barry Cowan Posted 26th June 2013 view comments

It says much about how far Laura Robson has progressed that we've come to expect fantastic performances from her in big events.

Last year she beat Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open before seeing off Petra Kvitova in Australia in January - and yesterday she turned in another impressive display to defeat 10th seed Maria Kirilenko 6-3 6-4 in the first round.

Laura Robson: 'I've only made the second round once so it was a big win'.

Laura Robson: 'I've only made the second round once so it was a big win'.

Robson knows she has the game to worry any of the top women but what really stood out for me was that when she was wobbling - as should only be expected given the pressure on her to succeed at Wimbledon - she still had the nerve and class to close out the match.

When it came to the crunch her serve held up, which is an incredibly good sign for the future. Great players are defined by what they do in difficult moments.

When it came to the crunch her serve held up, which is an incredibly good sign for the future. Great players are defined by what they do in difficult moments.

Barry Cowan
Quotes of the week

Last week Novak Djokovic came out and said 'tennis matches are won and lost in the head' and I thought that was a great quote. When he does lose, he always looks at what he could have done better mentally.

Pressure

I believe Robson could go a long way in this tournament and even make the quarter-finals, where she could potentially face Angelique Kerber.

However she can't afford to look past the next match, against Mariana Duque-Marino, because so much is now expected of her. As great as Robson has been in winning those matches that she hasn't been expected to win, she can come up short when all the pressure is on.

So I really hope she can just focus and not allow her own expectations to get out of control.

It's only normal to be excited in these types of situations; I always worry when players get down on themselves when they lose and show no emotion when they win.

I hope Robson doesn't become too despondent if things aren't going her way as the tournament progresses because I don't doubt that she's got enough fight and desire to reach the second week.

Confident

Without a shadow of doubt the match of the day today for me is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's tussle with Ernests Gulbis.

Tsonga has had a really good year so far, turning in a great display at the French Open, and I'm sure he would expect to perform even better at Wimbledon.

His coach, Roger Rasheed, is a very positive Australian will be talking to him about winning the event and why not?

This, though, is as tricky a second-round tie as he could wish for. Gulbis is a genuine entertainer who beat Tomas Berdych in last year's opening round.

More recently he labelled the top four players as boring at the French Open, where he claimed to be the best player not to be seeded. He's very confident in his own ability.

With the game that he has he can beat anyone if he wakes up on the right side of the bed. I'm looking forward to seeing if he can back up the statements he's coming out with.

Personally I would much rather be boring and keep winning as opposed to being a player like Gulbis who at times can play great tennis but can also flatter to deceive.

The one thing that is for sure is that Gulbis will believe he can cause a surprise against Tsonga and it is possible; Tsonga is rightfully favourite but for me it is a 60-40 match.

Gauge

Roger Federer and Andy Murray are back on court today - although not the same one.

Murray will take on Yen-Hsun Lu on Court 1, which I think is a good move from the All England Club because they couldn't justify putting both Federer and Murray on Centre Court so soon after Monday.

Murray did lose to Lu five years ago in the Beijing Olympics but, of course, so much has happened since then. I was really impressed with the way that Murray played in his opening match and I don't see any problems today or in the third round.Today is all about trying to win as comfortably as he can before taking on tougher tests in the second week. I don't think any of the top players fall into the trap of complacency. If they did, then they only have to look back a couple of days ago to Nadal's defeat to remind them of the potential consequences.

There's no way that Murray's coach Ivan Lendl will allow him to look towards the second week just yet!

For his part, Federer has proved the master of being able to take care of his first-week opponents very carefully.

He took only 68 minutes to beat Victor Hanescu, which was remarkable, and while Sergiy Stakhovsky serves and volleys - a rarity these days on grass - he should progress comfortably.

I don't think we'll get a true gauge of Federer's level of performance until the quarters.

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