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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lemoine squeezes out Robson

Photo Titled Robson power
Robson power
Laura Robson's defence of her girls singles title ended in the third round as the unseeded Quirine Lemoine of the Netherlands won a hard-fought victory 6-2, 4-6, 8-6.

Robson struggled throughout the match with a niggling back injury that required the attention of the physiotherapist after just three games, but still put on a spirited display in front of an animated home crowd.

“We don’t know exactly what the problem is yet but hopefully we will find out in the next couple of days, it was a bit of a spasm but I expect it will get better,” admitted Robson.

“It gradually got worse throughout the match so it was difficult for me to play and it felt like I couldn’t hit the ball very hard especially on my serve so it was difficult but I just wanted to keep playing.”

“I thought I could have done a lot of things better but I was very limited because of my back and there are still a lot of things that could be improved.”

The number two seed was slow out of the blocks and could have had no complaints when all the opening exchanges went the way of Lemoine, who surged into a three game lead after breaking Robson’s serve twice.

The SW19 crowd, more accustomed to seeing Robson on top after last year’s triumph, was stunned into silence as their young heroine struggled in the sweltering heat.

Then the mystery of Robson’s faltering start was uncovered as the 15-year-old called for the physio to treat a lower back injury. After a brief interval Robson returned to the court and immediately hit back, winning two consecutive games to put her back in contention for the set.

However, that proved to be the extent of Robson’s mini-revival as her opponent regained the initiative to comfortably take the opening set.

With the physio now nowhere to be seen and her injury worries seemingly behind her, Robson returned for the second set with a level of confidence that had been absent during the opening set.

The two girls patiently held serve until Robson raced through the gears to make the decisive breakthrough and level the match at one set all.

The third set began as a mirror image to the first with Lemoine making an instant break. But despite signs of her injury distresses beginning to resurface, Robson bravely broke back at the first opportunity.

But the British girl promptly conceded another service game to Lemoine at 3-3. The Dutch girl took the opportunity and came within one service game of victory before Robson’s battling spirit returned in full bloom. The defending champion showed great determination to force a crucial break to extend the third set.

But the impressive Lemoine continued to push for the win and finally extinguished the Robson resistance to clinch the decisive set and the match.

Despite the loss, Robson was still able to take some positives from the match.

She said: “It’s really disappointing and it is a bit frustrating as well but you can only learn from it. I thought that my first two matches in the juniors were pretty good and against Hantuchova I was really proud of myself so it has been a good two weeks. It is just disappointing it had to end this way.”

Court 18 - Girls' Singles - 3rd Round
Quirine Lemoine NED Winner648
Laura Robson GBR (2)266

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