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post #1 of 258 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2013, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Articles & Interviews

6‑4, 2‑6, 7‑6

Q. Must be very frustrating after the way you fought back in that third set.
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, I think in general it was a frustrating match. It was just annoying for me, because I feel like I have been practicing a little bit better this week, and to come out on court and just feel very, very defensive the majority of the match is really disappointing.

Q. You had some wonderful spells in the second set, and toward the end of that third set it looked like you'd run away with it. How difficult is it to maintain that form to the finish?
LAURA ROBSON: I wouldn't say those spells are magical, really. I just managed to get a few more balls in. You know, unfortunately it just wasn't my day.
I just either went for too much or too little, and I just couldn't find the right balance.

Q. You're not very well? You're coughing and you sound a bit...
LAURA ROBSON: I have had a chest infection since the start of the year, and so I have been on about four courses of antibiotics and nothing's gotten rid of it. It's just something that I'm living with.

Q. How difficult an opponent was she?
LAURA ROBSON: Well, she gets a lot of balls back. When she has time on her forehand, she can really do a lot with the ball. So she's always tough to play.
You know, the last time I played her was Australian Open Juniors about two or three years ago, and, yeah, we have had some interesting matches before. This is another interesting one.

Q. Will you analyze it, or will you just try and forget it as quickly as possible?
LAURA ROBSON: I'll analyze it. I analyze all my matches. You have to try and learn as much as you can from one of them, even though some of them can be really bad. You just have to learn from them and work a bit harder.

Q. Will you be looking forward to some time at home now?
LAURA ROBSON: Honestly, I just want to keep practicing no matter where it is and start finding my timing a bit better.

Q. With the chest infection, do you think you need to take just a few days off?
LAURA ROBSON: I'm seeing a specialist when I get home, and we will make another decision then.

Q. So the chest infection was there all the way through the Fed Cup?
LAURA ROBSON: Oh, yeah. It was on and off since the Olympics last year, and so now it's just worse. But it's fine.

Q. How does it affect you on court? Do you have trouble breathing at all?
LAURA ROBSON: I can see you guys trying to make this into something, and I really don't want to go there.

Q. Just a word on Dubai. Obviously you had the problems with the luggage as well, and obviously you haven't played this tournament as much as you'd really like. Is it a tournament you've liked and you'd like to come back next year?
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, for sure. All the facilities are really, really great, and it's so nice being virtually on‑site with the hotel. I have really enjoyed it here and definitely going to come back.

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post #2 of 258 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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Tennis Space interview, pre IW:

Laura Robson began the year in style by reaching the third round of the Australian Open, including a victory over former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. Early defeats in Doha and Dubai stopped her in her tracks while she revealed she had been suffering from a chest infection for several months. Before she left for Indian Wells and the start of a three-tournament US swing, including Miami and Charleston, the 19-year-old told the Tennis Space about her hopes for the next couple of months as she looks to lift her ranking from a career-high 43 towards a guaranteed seeding for the next two grand slam events, the French Open and Wimbledon.

How’s your health now?
Hopefully everything has cleared up. I’ve seen a specialist and I’ve taken yet another course of anti-biotics. I’m feeling pretty good and I thought I’ve practised well the last couple of days so once I get to Indian Wells, I reckon I’ll be pretty good. Hopefully (the doctors) got to the bottom of it. There was a mixture of things that were wrong, but fingers crossed that’s all cleared up.

There are plenty of points on offer in Indian Wells and Miami so this must be a big opportunity?
Yeah, I would love to do well there. I’m going to be in the main draw for both of them, which is exciting because last year in Indian Wells, I lost first round of qualies, so I’m really looking forward to playing there. I think the tournament is great, the facilities are unbelievable and it’s such a well-organised tournament as well, I think everyone enjoys playing there. Then to go on to Miami and Charleston, it’s going to be fun.

You mentioned you lost in qualifying last year. When you think back, you must think you’ve come a long way?
Yeah, it’s been a massive leap since last year. To go into main draw just makes a huge difference because you don’t have to go into qualifying. It just makes it a lot easier to deal with because you know if you lose first round one week, which hopefully won’t happen, you’ve got a couple of extra days to practice and get everything sorted, rather than play qualifying for the next event.

Do you feel like you’re adjusting to the physical demands of the Tour now?
Yeah, I’m trying to up the volume of my training so I can replicate tournaments more, in terms of time on court and everything like that. It’s definitely very physically demanding on court these days so I’ve been doing a lot of work with my trainer and making sure everything stays healthy. I’m excited about the next few months.

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post #3 of 258 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Play_Suspended I hoping she does well at IW, Miami and Charleston, I would love too see her in the top 30

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post #4 of 258 (permalink) Old Mar 21st, 2013, 01:51 PM
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From the WTA article about Sloane turning 20, some quotes from Laura post 1R Miami about how relieved to win she was and also on Hev's recent comments:

MIAMI, FL, USA - Sloane Stephens was the youngest player in the year-end Top 100 in 2011 and the only teenager in the year-end Top 50 in 2012, and so far in 2013 has been flying the flag for all the teenagers - but she turned 20 on Wednesday, leaving Laura Robson as the new No.1 teenager.

Watch live action from Miami starting Friday on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!

"It feels pretty good," Robson commented. "Sloane's still ranked a lot higher than me and she's only been not a teenager for a day, so I think she still has that title, but I feel pretty good about it."

Robson is ranked No.43 in the world at the moment and you don't have to go too far down the WTA Rankings to find the No.2-ranked teenager - Kristina Mladenovic is currently No.48 in the world. But Robson isn't just looking over her shoulder at the other teens - she has her eye on everyone.

"I think everyone looks at how everyone's doing. But there are definitely some good younger girls these days - Kristina's doing well, Annika Beck, and Donna Vekic too - there's quite a few of us."

Robson rang in the new honor with a first round win at the Sony Open Tennis on Wednesday, breaking away from 3-all in the third set for a two-hour, one-minute, 62 46 63 victory over Camila Giorgi.

"I've been getting quite nervous in my matches but today I managed to deal with that better and just grind out the win," Robson said. "Also by the end of the match there was this huge storm coming, so I basically tried to finish before it started. I just had to battle a bit harder. I was going for a bit more on my second serve and not taking as long in between points as I usually would do. I'm really happy I was able to play through the nerves.

"You know when you hear thunder and see huge rain drops falling on the court that you don't have that much time. About 30 seconds after we finished it started pouring - we were lucky to finish."

A day earlier, Heather Watson lost her first round match from 61 41 up - Robson was asked about her fellow Brit's difficult defeat and gave some very encouraging words. "Heather's not the only one to lose from a set and 4-1 up - I did it at Indian Wells so it happens to everyone," she said. "You just have to deal with it. I think Heather's a great player so she'll definitely be able to bounce back from that."

Next up for Robson is her first round doubles match - she is a wildcard pairing with former World No.1 doubles player Lisa Raymond here, facing No.6 seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.

"Lisa was supposed to be playing with Sam Stosur, who unfortunately hurt her calf. Lisa called me up and was like, 'Do you want to play?' We had to get a wildcard, so it's very nice of the tournament to give us one, and I'm very excited - she's obviously an amazing doubles player. We practiced a bit a few days ago together, so we have a feel of each other's games, and I think we're both excited."

Then Friday, Robson will play her second round singles match against the No.32 seed, Alizé Cornet.

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post #5 of 258 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2013, 09:50 PM
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On January 20, 1994, future WTA star Laura Robson was born. Eight weeks later, future Career Grand Slam holder Lisa Raymond made her debut at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami.

Flash forward to March 26, 2013 and the two find themselves in the semifinals of the WTA Premier Mandatory event at Crandon Park… together. The partnership came about when Raymond’s partner, Samantha Stosur, was forced out of action with a calf injury.

The two stand at different ends of the professional tennis career spectrum, but have clicked on the court thanks in part to making the most of each other’s strengths and striking a harmony with their personalities. The American/British pair has defeated three caliber teams, including fourth seeds and recent Indian Wells champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 7-5 in Tuesday’s quarterfinals.

Following their win over the Russians, caught up with team ‘Robmond’ for this feature off-court Q&A…

Interestingly, you both won Olympic mixed doubles medals in London, but didn’t face each other. Did you have any interaction during the victory ceremony?
Raymond: We saw each other plenty in the locker room, before matches. It’s funny. Laura is actually on my screensaver, because I have a great picture of all six of us…
Robson: That’s creepy…
Raymond: Shut up! (Laughter). It’s of our backs when we’re getting the medals and it has all the people where the Royal Box is. So I see Laura every day (laughter).
Robson: From afar.
Raymond: Haha yes, from afar.

Given your generation gap, what would you expect to find on your partner's iPod?
Robson: Hang on… we have the same taste in music. Sometimes I prefer recent stuff, but I also like the 80s. We were both singing ‘Time After Time’ in the locker room today.
Raymond: I was very impressed.

If you two go all the way here in Miami, have you thought of what your victory celebration would entail or would it be created spontaneously?
Raymond: Why do I feel like you would be more spontaneous? I would definitely be a planner, knowing me, but that’s just being old.
Robson: I would choke with the wave to the crowd thing.
Raymond: Like today?
Robson: Yeah. At the Olympics, Andy [Murray] forced me out there. So it’s better that you don’t do that.

Laura, do you have plans to make another YouTube video? Perhaps you can get Lisa to make a cameo in your next production?
Robson: Lisa’s got moves and I would love to get them on camera.
Raymond: Let’s do it!
Robson: But we need a decent dance/song before we make one. A couple people have been asking me to do Harlem Shake, but I feel like that’s a bit done.
That’s passed.
Robson: Exactly. I feel like I can only make one a year too, because you don’t want to overdo it.

You both are Twitter users but don’t follow each other. Will that change soon?
Robson: I have to follow you today.
Raymond: You better.
Robson: He just said you don’t follow me either!
Raymond: (Laughter)
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post #6 of 258 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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MIAMI, FL, USA - First-time pairing Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson continued their impressive showing in the Sony Open Tennis doubles event on Tuesday with a quarterfinal triumph.

It appeared the 39-year-old Raymond and 19-year-old Robson would have their hands full with No.4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Russians, who won their biggest WTA title earlier this month at Indian Wells, came into the clash having won 20 of their last 21 matches. However, from 3-3 in the first set, Raymond and Robson won three straight games and from 5-3 down in the second set won four straight games despite having a set point against them at 5-4 for a 63 75 victory.

"With this format, when you get to a super tie-break, anything can happen," Raymond said. "For us, it was great to break back in the second set and serve it out to get it done in two.

"Laura brings so much energy to the court. It's fun to play with somebody who could be my daughter. This is almost a new world to her. She has such a great future ahead of her. Maybe I can teach her a little bit about doubles with my experience. It's fun practicing with her and playing matches."

Raymond certainly does bring experience to the table, as the former doubles No.1 has 79 WTA doubles titles to her name, including three in Miami.

"It's very different playing with a doubles specialist than with another singles player," Robson said. "In the past 12 months, I've teamed up with five or six different people, because I can't get into anything other than the Slams.

"It has been exciting. I thought we played awesome today. Lisa hasn't missed a volley all week. I think we're getting along really well on court. Lisa has the experience and wise words. It's been really fun. I think we're going to keep getting better and better."

The competition will get even tougher in the semifinals for Raymond and Robson in the form of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. The top-ranked Italians closed out their 61 64 defeat of seventh-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza by taking the final four games.

Now 21-3 on the year, Errani and Vinci are two wins away from their 17th WTA title as a duo and 20th as individuals. They are also both still alive in singles and will play quarterfinal matches Wednesday.

The doubles quarterfinals from the bottom half of the draw are also on Wednesday's schedule, with No.5 seeds Liezel Huber and María José Martínez Sánchez taking on Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta, and No.3 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik squaring off with No.8 seeds Julia Goerges and Yaroslava Shvedova.

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post #7 of 258 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2013, 12:38 AM
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Several articles on the doubles victory, all with interesting quotes:


Laura Robson's superb run in the Sony Open doubles continued as she and Lisa Raymond beat top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci to reach the final.
The 19-year-old Briton and 39-year-old American beat the Italian world number one pairing 6-1 6-2 in Miami.
Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik take on Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta in the second semi-final.
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"I thought we played really well, straight from the start we were firing," Robson told BBC Radio 5 live.
"I was very aggressive from the baseline and Lisa was picking them off at the net. She helps me refocus because I start singing along to the music, and she says 'Come on, focus'.
"I didn't feel any nerves serving out the match. I just enjoyed myself and went for everything. I can just pick a place to hit it and go for it, and if it doesn't work out I go for the next one. In singles you have to think a bit more."

Errani and Vinci have won three of the last four major titles but quickly found themselves 4-0 down against the wild cards, and there was no let-up as Robson and Raymond powered to victory in just 57 minutes.
Raymond, who has won 79 doubles tournaments including six Grand Slam titles since turning professional in 1993, had planned to play with Sam Stosur in Miami.

"She pulled a muscle about two days before, and my agent suggested Laura," the American explained. "I always thought we would suit well together. She has huge groundstrokes and allows me to move well at the net.
"It's clicking. It's been an instant fit. Some partnerships don't fit well at all. This is nice, to play our first event and click like this."

Robson, who will be playing in her first WTA doubles final on Sunday, is ranked 43 in singles and 248 in doubles, with the latter set to improve dramatically when updated on Monday.

And Raymond is in little doubt about the teenager's potential, adding: "Laura has so much game, she's so powerful with her serve and return. That team we played today, I haven't even come close to winning a set before against them, so it's great. I would love to play more with her.
"We'll talk about it but I really think it's a great partnership given our styles of play. It's good for me because she helps me have a laugh out there.

Raymond on Robson
"I try not to think about our ages, but she could be my daughter and she has so much energy and excitement, and so much ahead of her.
"It's fun practising with her, fun playing with her. I've been saying all week that I liken her to a young Lindsay Davenport.
"The way the ball comes off her racquet, she's such a clean striker of the ball, and she has a phenomenal future ahead of her. The fact that she is a leftie as well. Keep an eye out for this girl."

Robson, who lost in the second round of the singles last week, is open to the idea of playing with Raymond in future.
"I'm loving Miami and now I can spend a couple more days here," said the Londoner. "Absolutely I'd love to play more with her. I don't think she's missed a volley all week. We're doing well, so why not?"

Daily Mail:

It has been the ideal confidence boost for Robson after she lost in the second round of the singles last week, having only won one match since Great Britain’s Fed Cup team earned promotion to the World Group Two play-offs at the start of February.
Robson and Raymond only teamed up after the American’s partner Sam Stosur withdrew following a calf muscle pull.
The pair share the same agent and a wild card was arranged as Robson’s doubles ranking was too low at No 278 to gain direct entry.
Robson is now guaranteed to enter the doubles top 100 and her performances have impressed Raymond, a former world No 1 who has won 11 grand slam titles, to the extent that she likened the Brit to a young Lindsay Davenport.

But following the match, Robson said she didn’t quite feel like she belonged when the announcer made his introductions.
‘I just felt so inadequate compared to everyone else on court,’ she said.
‘Errani and Vinci obviously have a couple of grand slams, Lisa has too many to count and I was like, “Yeah, I’m fine with a 50k tournament win last year somewhere”.’

But despite being the most inexperienced player on court, she was the best performer.
A stunning forehand winner earned her and Raymond the early break for 2-0 and it was one-way traffic from then on, the Brit striking her returns cleanly and showing composure on serve.
The performance of Robson was also a boost for the watching British Fed Cup captain Judy Murray ahead of her side’s trip to Argentina next month.
Murray said: ‘She rose to the occasion as she always does when she has the chance to play a big match on a big court. It doesn’t faze her at all like it does some of the younger players.’
In Sunday's final, Robson and Raymond will play third seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik or Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta.


Robson can rarely have played better, in any format. From first game to last, she pounded the ball with such venom that the No 1 seeds, Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, were simply blown off the court, going down 6-1, 6-2. “You guys all saw that there’s a future champion here today,” said Raymond, in her on-court interview. “Laura was unbelievable.”

So Robson is into her first final at a Masters event. Given the choice, she would probably have gone for singles rather than doubles, but there is no doubt that she enjoys the relative lack of pressure that comes with playing as part of a team.

“Serving out the match today I didn’t feel any nerves,” she said. “I was just having a lot of fun on court, enjoying myself and going for everything. One of the reasons I like playing doubles is that I can just pick where I want to hit the ball and go for it, whereas in singles you have to think a bit more.”

Both women are clearly revelling in their new partnership, which offers up a contrast of Robson’s power from the baseline and Raymond’s supreme volleying skills. “Against that team today, I haven’t come close to winning a set in a year,” said Raymond, who has 11 grand slam doubles titles to her name. “For us to go out there and play that well against them felt great.”

While the Italians walked out in matching outfits, looking like twins, Robson and Raymond – or “Team Robmond”, as they have decided to call themselves – opted for all-white and all-black respectively.

The contrast matched the unusual gap in their ages. “Does everyone in here know the stat that Lisa first played this tournament the year I was born?” asked Robson, 19, mischievously, after their victory in the quarter-finals.

These two only came together as a wild-card pairing the day before the first round, when Raymond’s intended partner, Sam Stosur, pulled a calf muscle. They share the same management company, Octagon, who recommended they pair up. For Robson, though, it was an unfamiliar experience.

“I’ve obviously been on the doubles court before,” explained Robson, who has a silver medal from the mixed event at last year’s Olympics. “But it’s very different playing with a doubles specialist compared to another singles player. She’s the most experienced partner I’ve had, and when we practised together for the first time, I was basically like ‘Where do I stand, where do I hit?’ ”

When the players began their warm-up yesterday, Robson could not help feeling out of place – the spare wheel among these three grand slam champions. “We were about to start serving,” she said, “and the announcer is going, ‘Errani, No 1 in the world in doubles. Vinci, No 1 in the world in doubles. Lisa, former No 1 in the world in doubles. Laura, whose current ranking is 280.’
“He’s struggling to come up with stuff and he’s come up with [the fact] that Heather and I made the final of last year. We didn’t even win it! I was waiting for him to mention the silver medal so that I didn’t feel so bad about myself, but he left it till the end.”

The irony is that, once the match started, Robson was the most influential player. For the most part, she preferred to hang back and unleash huge power off both wings from the baseline. But she also produced some excellent volleys and demonstrated that her net-play has improved out of all recognition since she started working with Raymond, who will be 40 in the autumn. “In general the style they play suited us,” said Robson. “We were both hitting it cleanly and it was one of those good days.”

Robson’s doubles ranking will now climb to around 90, and will go even higher if she and Raymond can win tomorrow’s final. It is still not high enough for them to qualify together for other Masters tournaments. But then, as Raymond joked yesterday, “Don’t worry, I have an unlimited supply of wild cards.”

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post #8 of 258 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2013, 10:01 AM
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Telegraph article with some interesting quotes:

For Miami locals, the coming of March brings two very distinct sounds - and neither much resembles a cuckoo. One is the refined “plink” of ball on strings from the Sony Open tennis tournament on Key Biscayne. The other is the rumbling bass from the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park.

There is usually little overlap between the two events, given that the first is frequented by retirees in golf visors, and the second by ravers in Day-Glo bikinis. But Britain’s most exciting young athlete, Laura Robson, is one exception - a woman who sits right in the middle of Miami’s Venn diagram.

“I went to Ultra on the first Friday when I arrived here,” said Robson, who turned 19 in January. “Then I sat in my room the next two nights listening to these heavy beats as my windows were shaking. I just remember thinking, ‘Ah, I want to be there so badly,’ but I was asleep by 10 o’clock. It was amazing to see Hungry Jack and Swedish House Mafia. We had a few of us there and we had a great time.”

Accompanying Robson among the ongoing hordes were her closest friends and contemporaries from junior tennis, Britain’s Heather Watson and Canada’s Genie Bouchard. They were also joined by Marina Erakovic, of Croatian birth but now representing New Zealand, who became Watson’s regular doubles partner last year.

This is the strange lifestyle of the WTA tour neophyte. Mates one minute, rivals the next. Yet Robson’s generation seem to be better minglers than senior players such as Maria Sharapova - who has always stuck with friends from outside the game.

The newcomers also manage to stay in touch with the normal interests of any 19-year-old girl - fashion, music, social networking - despite the daily demands of practice and gym work-outs. During a tournament in Shanghai last year, Robson set about making a video with her smartphone and some editing software. It starred herself and Bouchard as they performed a version of the Gangnam-style dance craze.

“We’re like one big happy family,” Robson says. “We often practice together - I hit with Marina here before my first-round match. You are used to playing with these people, and you get a good practice out of it, which is what you want.”

But what about when the knock-up is over, the crowd arrives, and these would-be siblings have to compete for money and rankings points? “I played against Genie around this time last year, and she beat me,” Robson said, “but we were still friends after the match. We don’t hold grudges. You might know each other’s games pretty well but, at the end of the day, it’s just another match, you just have to take it as seriously as you can and try to win.”

Ever since she won junior Wimbledon at just 14, Robson has carried a greater burden of hope than any other player in her age group.

She has admitted that the pressure was difficult to cope with, conceding: “Everyone expects you to be able to beat Serena the next day, and it’s just not realistic.” Robson has had to deal with a late growth spurt, several niggling injuries and a perennial issue with closing out matches. There were plenty of pundits asking why she was taking so long to blossom. But since last summer - when she hooked up with a new coach in Zeljko Krajan - her singles ranking has soared from around the 100 to 43.

“It’s a tough transition to make [from juniors to seniors],” Robson said, “and it takes quite a strong person to do it because there aren’t that many good juniors who have come through in the last few years. The injuries were tough to deal with, but one thing I have never been is homesick.
“I guess I am just one of those people. My mum is like ‘Oh, don’t you miss us?’ I miss the dogs but, even when I was 11 and I went to Spain to train, I was like, ‘Yeah, see you dad! See you in three weeks, no big deal!’”

The Robson family’s two chocolate labradors - Ella and Kiri - mean a lot to her. In fact, her passion for dogs is so strong that when the frustrations of tennis build up, her first instinct is to head to the nearest pet shop. Not that the visit always works out quite as she had planned “Sometimes I get so sad in there,” she said. “Because I just want to take all the puppies home, and my mum is like, ‘No’. I actually looked into it, and they need to be at least six months old to get their vaccinations for England. “It was just depressing last time. We went to a puppy store near the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton. There were these two twin boxer puppies and someone bought the boy and not the girl. I was so depressed for three days because I thought ‘How can you buy one and not the other?’
“On this trip we haven’t been to one yet. We have two dogs anyway, so I think three would be a bit too much, especially as my mum is the one who looks after them. I come in every now and again, play with them, and leave her to take them for walks.”

Robson’s parents continue to steer her life carefully. Mother Kathy advises closely on tennis decisions like the hiring of Krajan — whose no-nonsense approach has clearly improved Robson’s fitness levels - while father, Andrew, an executive with Shell, looks after the finances.
Whatever happens, he will now be able to invest another $123,000 from his daughter’s run in the doubles here, although that figure could climb to $245,000 if she lifts the title on Sunday.
In the meantime, Robson herself is left to concentrate on her training and her tweeting - although she says she is keener on the photo-posting website Instagram. “It’s all about keeping fresh content everywhere.” As for the next dance video, she was scornful of the suggestion that she try a Harlem Shake. “I think it’s a bit last week, isn’t it? Everyone’s done one, including the ATP guys, and the LTA as well. You would need virtually every single top player in one room with all these crazy outfits and I just don’t think I have enough time to organise that at the moment. So I am going to leave it to somebody else.”

Robson has never been a tennis tragic, not someone who wants to talk tactics and string tensions all day. Her new doubles partner Lisa Raymond could be heard chuckling on Saturday about the way she spends the break between sets “trying to figure out Lady Gaga’s dance moves and stuff”.
But then, there are plenty of cautionary tales surrounding young women who sacrificed their whole childhoods to tennis, Jennifer Capriati chief among them. Robson’s normality and sense of proportion may prove to be her greatest asset.

“I’ve been through some difficult patches,” she said, “but at the end of the day I chose to do this and I like it a lot. Maybe I even love it sometimes. So I’m happy.”

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post #9 of 258 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2013, 01:28 AM
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Re: Articles & Interviews

Laura Robson: Wimbledon? Olympic gold? I'm not fussed

Britain's best female tennis player for more than two decades is keeping a level head amid the ups and downs of the circuit's merry-go-round. Paul Newman meets Laura Robson
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post #10 of 258 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Press questions after the victory over Venus :-


Q: How difficult was it with that wind. Was it really tough.
L. Robson: I always have trouble with the dust and so it was kind of tough in the first set but then it sort of settled down. Yes, the hardest part for me was on my service games, having to wait so long between the first and the second serves. I just got used to it and get centres.

Q: Was she someone that you were inspired by when you were a kid.
L. Robson: Yes, I can remember seeing her play at Wimbledon when I was about 10 and I was kind of blown away with the speed that she hit the ball and today when she hit it in the centre of the racquet it was basically point over so I just had to take my chance.

Q: …[inaudible] ….
L. Robson: Yes it definitely a good win and she did play her best and its always hard to play high quality tennis in that wind, I wish it could have been a higher standard but I am happy to have won.

Q: What about the prospect of playing Serena.
L. Robson: Pretty good actually. I've never played her and I have always wanted to. It'll be a good test and she is playing probably her best tennis and so she is not losing and so its going to be insanely tough but I'm just going to go out there and do my best.

Q: Is she someone that you have talked to much off the court?
L. Robson: Yes, we chat sometimes just like other people in the locker room but we don't hang out or anything like that.

Q: What was your reaction
L. Robson: I was pretty pumped. I can remember saying when I was 14 that I wanted to play Venus and I got my wish. It was a tough job but you know I have had my share of easy draws this year so I was really excited to get out there today and they were telling me to calm down before the match because I was jumping around – I had do much energy.

Q: Is she really a daunting presence… the locker room
L. Robson: Who

Q: Serena
L. Robson: No. Nothing at all like that. She was chilling out there today with the other Americans and she is generally liked by other players.

Q: When you said you remembered saying when you were 14 that you wanted…..
L. Robson: I can remember I said I would take her down .. on a BBC interview after the junior final and my mum sent it to me the other day to remind me about it as if I could have forgotten saying something so stupid. Yes, it was good to play her.

Q: You seemed ……. To be playing with ….. you are coachless at the moment but you seem to be playing with a new kind of freedom. Are these two things kind of related.
L. Robson: I think I have really good help with Stan and Luciano is here as well and so I am happy with the team that I have and I know it is not long term but it is working and you know, I have been working with them on and off since I was 11 or 12 and so he knows my game well and I understand what he is trying to tell me,

Q: …[inaudible] …. What made you take that decision
L. Robson: I don' think that … we didn0pt have enough in common and I think you have to be able to get on with your coach on and off the court and this was something that we just didn't have and we come from two very different backgrounds and so his way of working was different form mine and it was fine and mutual.

Q: What do you look for in a coach.
L. Robson: Someone who is awesome. Well, I haven't even thought about it yet but a couple of ideas in the back of my head but after Wimbledon I'll start thinking about it.

Q: …[inaudible] ….lack maturity
L. Robson: I think I do lack maturity, especially in press conferences anyway. You know, we just didn't click and he is free to say whatever and I understand.,

Q: You said after Wimbledon you s start……looking. Does that mean that you are comfortable going into two of the biggest tournaments of the year with your current situation?
L. Robson: I mean, I was drawn against Anna last week and it was fine and so as long as I have someone to help me with my own game I am happy and that is what Stan can do and tactical stuff I should know by now because I have been on tour long enough and I know how the other girls play now. I haven't had on court coaching for some time now so its no big issue and last year I was pretty much coaches until around Wimbledon and after the Olympics and that seemed to work out. .

Q: Do you like on court coaching. Do you subscribe to that and what is your relationship with Lucy. How far back does that go?
L. Robson: On court coaching can be good and it depends on what situation we use it is and today I was thinking perhaps I'll call Stan on but then I thought that unless your pretty desperate……I think that most people could do without it.

Q: And Lucy?
L. Robson: I've known her for a couple of years now and I worked with her in Palermo last year and Gstaad(?) and before that on and off from about this time last year so we know each other pretty well

Q: …[inaudible] ….no camera signing. Was this the first time you signed the camera and did you prepare a message.
L. Robson: I signed it a couple of times before but I can't remember where or when. I put a heart and then my signature and I know that is kind of boring but hopefully

Q: …[inaudible] ….
L. Robson: I don’t know. I just like it on big courts against these huge players because I just go out there with nothing to lose and you do get a little more nervous towards the end of the match but yes, generally I find it easier to close it out against top players and so I think I need to do this more with players of my own ranking.

Q: …[inaudible] ….
L. Robson: Rome is so beautiful even just driving around and we were casually driving around and we passed by some ruins and I don't know another city like that so I've done my fair share of sightseeing but not shopping. I'm trying to focus on cultural things and not shopping but I still have to see the Sistine Chapel and other things so I'll probably do that on a day when I'm not playing.

Q: …[inaudible] ….
L. Robson: I think I've said since the start of the year that I wanted to be seeded for Wimbledon and it would be great if I were to be seeded for Roland Garros as well but I think that depends on how people do here and also next week in Strasbourg and if it happens it'll be great and if not then I'll just have to play well in the grass season but it seems like I prefer to play against seeded players and so perhaps it’s a good thing that I'm not seeded.
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post #11 of 258 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2013, 11:26 PM
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Re: Articles & Interviews

A Great Girl
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post #12 of 258 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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Re: Articles & Interviews

Next coach could be make-or-break for Laura Robson

t has been another interesting week in the career of Laura Robson after she produced a superb display to beat Venus Williams in Rome before an admirable performance in defeat against Serena the following day.

This follows a pattern: when she plays against big name players she produces a higher level of tennis than she does elsewhere.

I think the name is getting around a bit now too. What was interesting about her match with Serena was just how seriously Serena took the contest.

Serena looked totally focused – almost as if she was treating it like a final - she didn't look like she often does in the early rounds of tournaments when she can bounce from calm to panic before finding a middle ground later in the match that's usually good enough for victory.

There was none of that against Laura, she was locked in and it was quite interesting that she applauded off Robson at the end. That's is very unusual, so she recognises that there is immense potential there.

However, when it comes to Laura Robson it is still just that: potential
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post #13 of 258 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2013, 12:01 AM
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Presser after Serena match :-

Q: …[inaudible] ….
L. Robson: It was definitely a learning experience. I felt that I had a couple of chances I didn't take, especially on break points and you kind of expect her to hit an incredible shot and when she doesn't that when you can kind of step up and that is what I could have done today along with serving and returning on second serves but there were a lot of things that I can take out of it but she is the best player in the world and so…..

Q: Yes, she is number one. Did she feel like the best player that you have ever ……
L. Robson: Pretty much. She is just able to bring out her best tennis at the big moments and there is not much that you can do about that. Its really hard… …[laughter]….
Did you all see the camera guys…. That was so funny.

Q: What started that….
L. Robson: They just started playing music and I think the camera guys had rehearsed it because it was just too good……

Q: …[inaudible] ….
L. Robson: It wasn't that hard like …… I got hit in the face, I mean in the jaw in Estoril last week so it wasn't too bad. It was funny because in the warm up you always decide where you start to serve and I always start form the deuce side and obviously she does too and against most people I just keep serving that way until they move so I thought I'm not going to move from here until she goes and then I thought that she probably won't and then I got hit and so then I went to the outside She is not budging.

Q: Laura, clay is probably not your best surface but do you think that what you have done in the past couple of weeks is already showing what energy you have in this surface?
L. Robson: I don’t see why I cant do well on clay, especially in fast clay like here and in Paris. I mean, when I hit a heavy ball then it really bounces up and I have been working on my forehand and so, I have been working on that and I played well, this week and last week and so it been decent. I am looking forward to Paris.

Q: …[inaudible]
L. Robson: You don't have the mike Barry …[laughter]….

Q: So is that it until Paris. What about doubles.
L. Robson: No, I'm going to go home for a few days and then I'm going to go to Paris nice and early to get some practice on those courts.

Q: Can you slide?
L. Robson: Can I slide. On my forehand side I can. Backhand side is work in progress and as I usually hit a close backhand it looks a bit awkward but its getting better and I don’t think that my movement was the reason why I lost the last couple of matches. Its something that I am working on but it wasn’t such a big deal.

Q: I wonder if you are aware about what was happening out there today. The public seemed more behind you than Serena and what effect did that have on you?
L. Robson: I heard a couple of Brits and there were more Italians towards the end of the match but probably because they were sorry for me but I'm lucky that I get a lot of support wherever I go and so hopefully they'll all follow me on twitter.

Q: You've now played a good selection of very good players. How long do you think it will be before you start …[laughter] …. Serena was pretty nice about you ……..
L. Robson: That’s just because she hit me …..I think when you start winning smaller tournaments and winning in weeks like this then your ranking starts improving and so there are so many things that I can improve on and the serve needs some work and I can move better. My action and how confident I am but I need to be a more consistent but when I know I'll let you all know.

Q: Next week – rest or are you going to be hitting and will Lucy (?) be doing the coaching because I guess Fin(?) will be home in Amsterdam and so that is why I'm going to Paris early because he will be there too and so its really going to be only two or three days…… when I'll be hitting with Lucy so I saw off but it is not really off.
L. Robson: I saw here at the hotel –s he is at the same hotel as us – she jumped over the fence…. That would have been a code violation if it was anyone else ……. he has to go through the fence, the gate like the rest of the coaches and her daughter has got so tall, she is like an actual person now…she looks really great.
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post #14 of 258 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Re: Articles & Interviews

'I'm hitting top form in time for Wimbledon', says Robson as Brit looks to continue impressive year with summer success

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Following her match against Laura Robson at last week’s Italian Open, Serena Williams walked back to the players’ area and met her coach, Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou.
‘She said to me, “Now I understand why you warned me that she’s good”,’ revealed Mouratoglou after the rampant world No 1’s first meeting with the British teenager.
Williams, who had avenged her sister’s defeat by Robson in the previous round, is not easily impressed, and while she had conceded only four games it could easily have been more. The way that the American then went on to destroy her opposition en route to the title put the result in further perspective.

Hot streak: Laura Robson is taking good form into the French Open, especially after beating Venus Williams
So after an oscillating year, the Wimbledon-based teenager is carrying at least some form into the French Open, the draw for which is made on Friday morning.
Perhaps that is just as well because at the tender age of 19 she goes into the year’s second Grand Slam as the highest-ranked British player — at 35 — in the absence of Andy Murray, not a position she would have anticipated for several years to come.
Ask Robson how she would mark herself for 2013 to date and she says: ‘I’d probably give myself a five or a six. I didn’t really get the start I wanted and it’s only in the last few weeks that I feel that I have picked up.
'I’m playing with more confidence and feeling happier on the court. I have always tried to play an aggressive style and in order to do that you need to be feeling confident.’

Making inroads: Although Robson lost to Serena Williams, her play and determination was impressive
Mouratoglou knows the potential of her natural ball-striking ability, which takes time away from opponents, as he used to coach her at his academy outside Paris.
He believes she is at the forefront of an unusually good cluster of teenagers, which includes Donna Vekic, the London-based Croat coached by David Felgate, Australian Ashleigh Barty and Russian pocket battleship Yulia Putintseva, who will one day challenge the established order.
This year Robson has beaten former Grand Slam champions Petra Kvitova — their games have much in common — and Venus Williams, plus last year’s Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska.
She was also in a winning position against former Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic, but these performances have been accompanied by some tame defeats by lesser opposition, often hastened by a surfeit of double faults.

Giantkiller: As well as beating Venus, she has also defeated Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska this year
Therefore whatever the draw gives her today it might be hard to draw conclusions.
‘Perhaps it matters a bit less to me because I do find it easier in some ways playing the top players,’ added Robson.
‘But in the first round of Madrid two weeks ago I won a tough match against a Slovakian girl who was ranked much the same as me, and in a way that was a very important match.’
The fact that the uplift came after she dispensed with her taskmaster Croat coach Zeljko Krajan is almost certainly no coincidence, and she admits the pair had little in common.
Women’s tennis has a complex psychology all of its own and when the new person is appointed, expect them to be more empathetic. ‘I’m in a better place now and I’m moving in the right direction,’ she says.
‘You always want things to happen quickly and I definitely get frustrated sometimes, especially when you lose close matches, but the important thing now is to keep improving.’

Grass: In 2011 Robson beat Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon before losing to Maria Sharapova
She is approaching the time of year that is accompanied by greater attention on all British players.
For her it will be more intense if her performances in Paris nudge her up into the world’s top 32, which would make her the first seeded home woman at Wimbledon since Jo Durie.
Not that it affects her adversely, judging by last year’s Olympic silver medal.
‘I see the attention as completely normal now, and it’s bound to happen when the grass-court season comes. It’s the same for the Aussies when it’s the Australian Open and the Americans when it’s the US Open.’

Friends: Robson and Heather Watson have struck up a good relationship on tour together
That is one reason she is pleased to see Heather Watson returning next week in Paris after glandular fever; another person to share the burden, and to hang out with.
‘Heather was 21 last week and there was a small get-together on Saturday night. I think she is planning something else after the French. It’s just great that she’s back playing again.’

It will be expecting a lot of Watson to make major strides on her return, and the same applies to 30-year-old Elena Baltacha. The former British No 1 will make her return to Grand Slam action following the ankle surgery she had after the Olympics.
Britain’s interest in French Open qualifying ended yesterday when Johanna Konta was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the second round by Galina Voskoboeva.

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post #15 of 258 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2013, 01:31 PM
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My perfect weekend: Laura Robson, British female No 1
Tennis player Laura Robson, 19, keeps punishing training hours six out of seven days a week, only relaxing on Sundays.
By Rosie Millard, 7:00AM BST 18 Jun 2013

Mondays and Tuesdays are full training days, Wednesday is my half training day, Thursday to Saturday are full days and I have Sundays off.
That’s my usual week at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, south-west London. So unless I’m in a tournament, my weekend will start with me coming home from a training session, and having an ice bath.
It’s actual ice with a bit of water in and the baths help train my muscles: I have one most days. I’m in it for 10 minutes up to my shoulders but after two minutes, you don’t feel it at all. Everything just freezes.
I’ve recently started living in a flat in Putney. I used to live with my parents, but they moved to Greece earlier this year after living in Wimbledon for a long time. My two black labrador dogs, Ella and Kiri, have gone over with them, so the evenings are rather lonely and quiet at the moment.
On Saturday mornings I’m back at Roehampton. I usually hit twice in a practice day, each time for an hour and a half or two hours. What do I do? Sometimes match practice where you play a practice set, or sometimes a mixture of things.
I’ve been doing a lot of work on my serve, because that hasn’t been ideal in the last few tournaments. In practice, it’s all fine. But then you end up serving for the match in a tournament, and the nerves kick in and it doesn’t go to plan at all. I’d say my serve is a work in progress.
Adidas has a Play Development Programme and there are a couple of very experienced coaches I’ve been working with since I was about 12. It’s a good set-up but after Wimbledon this year I’ll be looking for something a bit more permanent. At the moment though I’m doing non-stop tournaments, and it would be very difficult to get into a rhythm with a new coach.
I have quite a long lunch break to rest and recover before the next session. We have some very good chefs at the national centre who come up with inventive ways of incorporating things like quinoa into my diet. After my second session I see a physio, have a massage and fit an ice bath in.
On an ideal Saturday I would get home from training at about 7.30pm, have dinner and do some reading. I am big into biographies and I’ve read most of the tennis ones. If you’re a tennis fan I would say Agassi’s is the best. When I’m waiting around at a tournament, I read on a Kindle.
There aren’t many other sports which are quite as individual as tennis. You can have on-court coaching during matches (apart from the Grand Slams), but I like figuring things out myself when I’m on court. You simply have to refocus on what you’ve learnt in practice.
Off-court, I am friendly with most of the other girls on tour. You find your group who you hang out with, so it’s not that lonely and I play against all the girls I’m friends with, usually more than once a year. When I’m on court facing them I take it just as seriously as any other match. Obviously we are both trying to win, but then at the end of the day we go out for dinner together quite happily.
My perfect Sunday would definitely start with a lie-in. I wake up super-early during practice weeks and tournaments, usually at 6.30am. If you’re not on court early during a tournament, you have to try to get on to a practice court as early as you can.
The courts are limited because everyone wants their own time, so a good time to get a court is between 8.30am and 10am. I learnt that from Steffi Graf who used to always practise from 7am. Except I usually practise in the afternoons as well.
On Sunday mornings I might go and do a Zumba dancing class. A couple of my friends train at the Virgin Active in Chiswick, so I go there for a class. I used to play there myself when I was a lot younger and I might get recognised a bit, but everyone takes their Zumba very seriously so it’s fine.
If people do approach me, they usually tell me I’m taller in real life than they thought I was. I am 5ft 11in, but because most people have seen me playing with Andy Murray, who’s 6ft 2, I look quite small next to him.
Andy is great. He’s such an easy person to play with, because he is so good. Whenever the ball comes to me, I just try to get it in and he does the rest of the work. When he won the US Open it was a big deal for everyone in British tennis. It was such an inspiration, to see him finally win a slam after being in finals so many times. I think everyone worked a bit harder after that and thought, “Yeah, I can get there.”
On Sundays I might go for brunch at Le Pain Quotidien café in Wimbledon village. I’m a Wimbledon girl at heart. My favourite time there is two days before the tournament when everything is still and quiet and ready to go.
I love the middle Sunday, too: it’s crazy to have this day of nothing in the middle of a tournament. It never happens anywhere else.
Stepping out into Centre Court is amazing. It’s kind of surreal. You go past all the famous quotations on the walls and can see all the trophies just sitting there. It’s incredible.
The first time I played on Centre Court I was about 15 and as I was going on, Roger Federer was coming off court and said, “Good luck, Laura” and all I could think was, “Oh my God, Federer just spoke to me!”
On my perfect Sunday evening I would go out for dinner with my friends or go to the cinema. I don’t really like films about tennis as I can’t take them seriously. In Wimbledon, with Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst, it was so obvious they weren’t very good at tennis.
Am I under pressure, as the British number one woman? There is always pressure. I have had pressure since I was 14, and I just kind of got on with it. It’s probably taken a bit longer than everyone expected for me to get to where I am now, but you have injuries and things that pop up, which you have to deal with. I think I’ve done a pretty OK job so far.
But now Wimbledon’s coming up, I’m injury-free and I’ve been playing well. I’m just a couple of places away from being seeded, so with luck, by the time Wimbledon comes around I will be seeded and won’t have to play Serena first round.
Herbal tea or stiff drink?
I like green tea. Is that herbal? I don’t really drink booze at all.
Favourite perfume?
Burberry Body in the winter and Marc Jacobs Daisy in summer.
Favourite tennis surface?
Both grass and hard, but grass is ideal. That is my game, and I love it.
Key stroke?
My forehand down the line. If it’s a really tight point and a really close match, I am always pretty confident it’s going to come off.
Favourite holiday destination?
I haven’t had an actual holiday since I was 14. You get two weeks off at the end of the year, but by that time all you want to do is stay at home.
Favourite television show?
Game Of Thrones is my number one, but I love Suits and New Girl too. And in America, I really got into The Voice.
My dogs
My racquets
My phone
My Burberry coat with jewels on the shoulders
My 2012 Olympic medal
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