Wimbledon 2011: Sharapova overcomes brave Robson
Fifth seed recovers from poor start to reach round three of Wimbledon with straight sets win over teenager
British teenager Laura Robson made fifth seed Maria Sharapova work hard for her place in the third round at Wimbledon.
Robson, ranked 248 places behind her Russian opponent, was eventually pegged back by Sharapova despite a hugely promising start at SW19, and the 24-year-old eventually triumphed 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in 108 minutes on Court No1.
The 17-year-old, who won the junior title at SW19 in 2008, pushed the former world No1 all the way in the first set, racing into a 4-1 lead before the Russian began to find her rhythm and clawed her way back to win 7-4 in a tie-break.
Sharapova, who won the Wimbledon title in 2004 aged 17, then began to outclass her 254th-ranked opponent and took a commanding 5-1 lead in the second set.
Robson bravely broke back and held her own serve to again force Sharapova, whose erratic serving had troubled her in the first set, to serve for the match at 5-3.
But the world No6 seized her second chance, booking her place in the third round with a fizzing serve down the middle which the British youngster could not return.
Sharapova, who next faces unseeded Hungarian Melinda Czink, paid tribute to her young opponent’s display after the match.
“Laura started off the match so well, going for her shots and serving well,” Sharapova told BBC Sport. “I couldn’t get too many looks at her first serve but I hung on in there and started to play better.
“It’s understandable the crowd is on her side; she’s young and moving up the rankings so they should be behind her.
“I didn’t play my best today, made a few more errors than I had to. It would be good to come out and improve on those things tomorrow.”