Robson focuses on tennis

28 August 2012 / 10:11

There were clowns and fireworks at Flushing Meadows, but Laura Robson kept her focus on the tennis court to book a place in the second round of the US Open against Kim Clijsters.

The 18-year-old was in the unusual position of being the senior player against 17-year-old American qualifier Samantha Crawford, and despite not having things all her own way, dug deep to come through 6-3 7-6 (8/6).

Robson said: "She was really tough. I'd never seen her play before. For the first few games I was just trying to stick with her basically because she seemed to rip every shot that I hit."

This is the first grand slam where Robson has been ranked highly enough to gain direct entry, and she admitted the role of favourite was an odd one.

"It's a first," she said. "She definitely played like she had no pressure on her. It was an interesting match but I thought I played okay. She's taller than me so she felt older."

It was a hard-hitting contest, with both players certainly not afraid to go for their shots, but it was Robson who was just the steadier in the opening set and she came out on top of three consecutive breaks before holding serve to wrap it up.

Crawford made the better start in the second before Robson hit back, and the American should really have levelled the match when her opponent handed her a set point with a double fault in the tie-break.

Crawford had a simple smash but hit it straight to Robson and then placed a volley long, and the British player gratefully took her second chance.

Robson was cheered on by a sizeable band of British supporters, including a raucous group from Stirling University in fancy dress, and said: "I loved it. They were at Fed Cup as well and they were just as loud then, which is good.

"They seemed to still be in Olympics mode, shouting out, 'Go Team GB'. And I've had the, 'Laura' chant stuck in my head for the last half an hour. Their outfits were great. Every match should have clowns."