Laura Robson knocks out Maria Kirilenko from Wimbledon

Laura Robson buoyed home fans at Wimbledon yesterday as world number 10 Maria Kirilenko became the day’s first major casualty.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 11:03 am
Ace: Laura Robson claimed a 6-3 6-4 win over 10th seed Maria Kirilenko
Ace: Laura Robson claimed a 6-3 6-4 win over 10th seed Maria Kirilenko

Seven Britons had failed to progress beyond the first round heading into the 19-year-old’s match, which she took 6-3 6-4 on Court One.

The home hope won the girls’ title on the same court five years ago and will now face Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino.

“I am still so nervous, even on the last point I didn’t know whether my forehand was good or not,” she said.

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“I think that was a big one for me because of all the nerves and playing in front of your home crowd at Wimbledon. It is a big one.

“I could have gone 5-1 up in the second and lost my focus a little bit. I started to think about winning and I got back to focusing point by point. I thought I served pretty well.”

Fellow Brit Heather Watson failed to join Robson in the next round as she was defeated by rising American Madison Keys. The youngster admitted she is still feeling the impact of being sidelined by glandular fever after the 6-3 7-5 loss.

The 21-year-old said: “I feel like my game isn’t back yet. I don’t think I served well today. I didn’t have a high first-serve percentage. My reactions are slow. I’m not moving like I usually move, getting balls back.

“I don’t feel like my game’s there yet, so that will come back with time, time to practise. I have a big gap now to get the training in, get some fitness training in.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray is confident he will not be caught off guard by the latest threat to his Wimbledon dream - because the man standing in his way inflicted one of the Scot’s most agonising defeats.

Next up for Murray today is a second-round match against Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yen-hsun, who beat British number two James Ward in his opener, on Court One.

“I know quite a lot about him,” Murray said. “I lost to him in the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing. It was a very tough loss for me. I learnt a lot from that match.

“I think I’ve only played him once more. I played him earlier this year in Indian Wells.”

On that occasion in the Californian desert, Murray won for the loss of just five games, and he starts today as a clear favourite, not that he sees the match as anything approaching a formality.

“He’s made the quarters before,” said Murray. “He’s beaten Roddick here. He plays well on grass. So I’ll need to be ready.”

Centre Court spectators, who might have expected to see Murray, will instead have to be satisfied with Victoria Azarenka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and defending men’s champion Roger Federer today.

Second seed Azarenka opens proceedings against Italy’s Flavia Pennetta while Tsonga takes on big-hitting Ernests Gulbis, who upset Tomas Berdych in the first round last year.

Federer is last on court against Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, while the other matches on Court One feature Fernando Verdasco taking on Julien Benneteau and Petra Kvitova versus Yaroslava Shvedova.