FLUSHING, NY – Move over Andy Murray, there’s a new Brit in town.
Laura Robson has become the feel good story at this Open, after she won her third round against Na Li, 6-4 6-7 6-2 to advance to the fourth round.
And this comes after she sent Kim Clijsters into retirement.
Call her the Giant killer.
“When the draw first came out I wasn’t really looking past the first round,” the 18 year-old said. “ And then, you know, when I heard that I was playing Li Na after I played Kim, I didn’t really think anything. I just knew that it was going to be an extremely tough match, which it was, and that she’s a great player.
“So I knew I had to play well; that’s what I did.”
So far in 2012, Robson seemed to take a step back. After making the second round last year at Wimbledon and the Open, she was one and done at the other majors this year.
But that isn’t stopping her here.
She fought Clijsters in straight sets, 7-6(4) 7-6(5), in the second round, sending the three time US Open champion into full time motherhood.
And now she took down Li, who was seeded ninth at the Open and many expected to make the second week.
“I have had a fairly tough draw, haven’t I?” she asked with a smile. “Well, you know, you have to beat who is in front of you. That’s what I managed to do so far. I think I play [Sam] Stosur now, who is defending champ. That’s going to be really tough. I’ve never played her before, so, you know, I’m going to just work hard tomorrow and recover as best as I can for the next one.”
Ah yes, the defending champ. That would be a tough matchup, but they said that about Clijsters and Li. In today’s match, Robson easily took the first set and then lost a tie break in the second to give Li life, even though she was up 3-1 at one point in the breaker.
Then in the third, she took control with a 6-2 cruising, putting her on the map. The funny thing she never gets down on herself, which many 18 year-olds do.
“I’m only 18, so if I was that negative, you know, last year or a year ago, then who knows what I’m going to be like in a few years,” Robson said. “But, no, I have always thought that I can play with the top girls. Whenever I’ve practiced with, you know, Caroline or Maria, I’ve always felt that the level was there.
“It was just taking that onto the match court and keeping the level up for the whole match. That’s what I have worked on. Yeah, that’s been the biggest difference.”
Well maybe Murray can give her pointers now on handling on the British press. Well on second thought, the way she took care of them today, she will do just fine.