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Laura Robson on a roll after doubles win

Laura Robson celebrates First Round win over Maria Kirilenko.
by Helen Gilbert
Wednesday 26 June 2013

It just keeps getting better for Laura Robson. The British teenager who on Tuesday upended No.10 seed Maria Kirilenko on No.1 Court in the singles tucked another win under her belt, this time 6-3, 6-1 victory in the ladies doubles with Lisa Raymond.

Yesterday the 19-year-old told how she loved every court in the SW19 grounds, which was just as well as she was scheduled on a far less grandiose outside court for her first round encounter against 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and 2011 US Open  title holder Australia’s Sam Stosur.

Robson, who won an Olympic silver medal with Andy Murray last year, looked in distinctly chirpy spirits, laughing and joking with Raymond throughout the challenge much to the visible delight of the spectators who had flocked to the court.

The left hander didn’t disappoint. Her powerful baseline game was firing on all cylinders, affording 2001 Wimbledon Ladies Doubles champion Raymond the opportunity to pick off balls with ease. Serving at 1-5 in the second set, Schiavone’s grunts grew laboured and louder as the pressure began to mount. Her favoured serve volley style faltered as she struggled to deal with the blistering returns.

It was ultimately Robson’s big hitting that proved to be the undoing of Stosur and Schiavone – a devastating forehand brought up match point, which she promptly sealed with a penetrating forehand down the line to close out the match in a whisker over an hour.

Fellow Briton Heather Watson fared less well in her doubles campaign with Mervana Jugic-Salkic, winning only 24 points in their match against experienced doubles specialist Cara Black, a player who has won the ladies doubles here on no less than three occasions, and partner Marina Erakovic. The No. 11 seeds produced a solid display to wrap up the match 6-2, 6-0 in just 46 minutes. Meanwhile. British wild cards Anne Keothovang and Johanna Konta also fell at the first hurdle to top seeded Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-1.

Elsewhere, India’s Sania Mirza and America’s Liezel Huber were made to work during their contest against Czech duo Renata Voracova and Klara Zakopalova but eventually came through the tussle 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. However, it was business as usual for No.2 seeds Andreea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka. The hard hitting duo, who lost to Venus and Serena Williams in the finals here last year and lifted the Roland Garros title in 2011, dispatched Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva and Australian Anastasia Rodionova 7-5, 6-2 on their third match point.

Seventh seeded Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke also moved into the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Dominika Cibulkova and Monica Niculescu, while No. 8 seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng defeated Vera Dushevina and Alexandra Panova 7-5, 6-1. 

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