A Brit in the Final, Finally

Jan 31, 2009

No, I’m not talking about Andy Murray. If I was I would be severely mistaken, seeing as the Scot was unfortunately removed from the tournament by Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round. Instead of Murray, it’s fifteen year old Laura Robson. Britain has been holding its hopes of a bright future for tennis close against her heart, and it is a relief to see one of these great hopes making it into the final of the Australian Open in 2009. Robson cut an impressive figure on the court in her semi-final match against Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, giving herself a chance to become junior girls number one if she were to win her final round match. It will also be Robson’s second chance at winning a Grand Slam title; she took the opportunity with gusto at the Wimbledon 2008 final.

The semi-final match against Thailand’s Lertcheewakarn was delayed for two hours because of the intense heat; the temperature piqued at 44C, making it impossible to send them out to play. Robson started out at a flagging pace, with Lertcheewakarn taking the first three games with ease. It was an alarming position for the 16 year-old Briton to find herself in. At the back of her mind there must have been the lingering knowledge that Lertcheewakarn had yet to drop a set in the tournament so far. Similarly to Rafael Nadal – who also hadn’t dropped a set until his marathon 5 set encounter with Fernando Verdasco today in his own semi-final match -  Lertcheewakarn lost this streak of successful sets and soon found herself one set down.

It took Robson 74 minutes overall to position herself firmly in the finals, the eventual score 6-4, 6-3. The confidence from such an outcome will do Robson the world of good. She will meet Ksenia Pervak of Russia in the finals, after the number three seed beat Ana Bogdan (oddly enough, it also took Pervak 74 minutes to beat her opponent).

In the boys’ singles tournament, Bhambri and Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas advanced to the final to set up what will be a very interesting match. It will be the boys’ very first meeting, and first time at a boys’ Grand Slam final. The mixture of the unknown and the excitement should be a potent mix for the pair as they go head to head for the title.

So once again, although Briton’s hopes of men and women’s titles died relatively early on, there is the silver lining that these junior player tournaments. Although British tennis’ current situation may not be perfect, it is certainly getting there, and with the juniors playing as they are it looks as though the future should continue that way too.  


-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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