Robson arrives as a contender after 'wild' win over Kvitova
Teenager triumphs 11-9 in final set to beat former Wimbledon champion at Australian Open
LAURA ROBSON today served up the biggest shock of the Australian Open so far as she beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in an epic contest that only ended when the British woman shaded a "chaotic" final set 11-9.
The BBC described it as an "error-strewn but dramatic match" which lasted three hours and ended well after midnight in Melbourne, even though the temperature was still 30C.
Robson lost the first set 2-6 but recovered to take the second 6-3. The helter-skelter third set lasted 80 minutes and contained seven breaks of serve. The Times described it as "a masterpiece in ugly tennis".
The Guardian agreed. "For all the charming naivety of Laura Robson's faith in her raw teenage power, she is through to the third round of the Australian Open largely because she soaked up the fluctuating force of Petra Kvitova's serve and held her nerve at the end of three wild sets," it said.
However, the paper added, Robson's performance proved she is a force to be reckoned with in the women's game. "To beat the former Wimbledon champion four months after her victories over Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open marks a watershed in her young career... Robson has arrived as a genuine contender."
By going toe-to-toe with the number eight seed Robson showed she "can match talent with bloody-minded determination," said the Daily Mail. And it drew comparisons between her and fellow Brit Heather Watson who is also in the third round. "Sometimes it is hard to tell them apart," added the paper.
There should be plenty of support for Robson next time out. The 18-year-old Briton was actually born in Melbourne and The Independent noted that by playing on the Rod Laver Arena, the main show court at Melbourne Park, she "was given higher billing than Andy Murray... [but] rewarded the tournament organisers' faith with a stunning performance".