Blogs & Opinion


Wimbledon 2013: Laura Robson will make quarters with best tennis

Barry Cowan Posted 1st July 2013 view comments

Monday of Week Two is always my favourite day at Wimbledon because - unlike any of the other three Grand Slams - all of the last-16 matches in the men's and the women's competition take place on the same day.

The hot ticket to have today is the ground pass and the Brits queuing up have several tough decisions to make including, if they are lucky enough to get the option, do they take Centre Court to see Andy Murray or Court 1 to see Laura Robson?

Laura Robson: aiming to become the first British woman in 29 years to reach the quarter-finals

Laura Robson: aiming to become the first British woman in 29 years to reach the quarter-finals

The most competitive match on Centre Court should be the third one up - Novak Djokovic's clash with Tommy Haas, which follows Serena Williams' clash with Sabine Lisicki and Murray taking on Mikhail Youzhny.

Djokovic wasn't at his best in his first couple of matches but true to form he's raised his game: the better the opponent, the better he plays.

Youzhny has a wonderful backhand, can use slice and can come forward and hurt you. This is Murray's first real test of the Championship.

Barry Cowan
Quotes of the week

But as I mentioned in my blog yesterday, Haas - who has had an incredible 12 months - should give Djokovic a real test. So far the top half of the draw has all gone to form. Could this be the first real shock in that half?

Danger

Murray should also expect some fireworks from Youzhny - a very talented player who lives every point.

He used to be known as one of the best practice players out there, which helps to underline the potential danger that he poses.

The Russian doesn't have a big game but he is a shot-maker and plays well on grass. He has a wonderful backhand, can use slice and can come forward and hurt you. This is Murray's first real test of the Championship.

But I thought he played outstandingly well against Tommy Robredo on Friday. He looks at ease with himself and everything that is going on around him.

Youzhny might well take a set off Murray today but I can't see him playing a sufficiently high standard of tennis to win three.

Excited

I also think Robson is going to win today; she's passed a couple of big tests in the last couple of matches to become the first British woman to reach the fourth round since 1998.

She has shown that she can win matches when she is not playing her best tennis - something that she hasn't always done in the past.

Laura should be so excited about the prospect of playing Serena Williams in the quarter-finals that I don't expect her to fluff her lines.

Her opponent, Kaia Kanepi, is a terrific player. She looked down and out against Angelique Kerber but came through to win but I can't help feeling that if Robson plays to her best then she wins.

That's a great position for any player to be in.

Barry Cowan is raising money for the charity Have a Heart throughout Wimbledon with his Sky Bet Charity Bets. Find Barry's top daily and outright tips here.

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