Laura Robson - Just What Has Clicked?

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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:32 pm

Something at last to get the British tennis public buzzing that is non-Murray related. Heather Watson British no.1? Not impressed with not partnering Murray at the Olympics? Well imposter springs to mind. Complains about not being treated like a British no.1 and yet hasn't played like one since Wimbledon! British no.1 step forward Laura Robson.

What has clicked that has turned Laura into a world beater? Well for me personally, these factors have helped:

1) Being fully fit. For me she has been unlucky with injuries in the past. 2011 she was very much riddled with them. The time in which she has turned it around is extrordinary. I think it was in December that she fractured her thigh bone. Qualified for the Australian Open, coming back from injury I think her progressing beyond round 1 might have been a step to far. She made the main draw of the French Open and Wimbledon. At Wimbledon had the immense battle with Schiavone and should've seen the match out. Still for me the performance was what was impressive. Straight into the US Open draw without the burden of qualifiers. Only helps her conditioning even more.

2) The Murray Factor. Now I won't in anyway attribute the on court success to Murray's. Let's be honest the 2010 Hopman Cup was a big step up for Laura and Andy himself must've seen something in her to have her partner him. Andy has always made himself available for British youngsters to train with him and the fact only Laura seems to have jumped at the opportunity has certainly opened her eyes up to his world. The pressures of being a big player in the current era and how he handles himself on and off court. Judy herself deserves a mention. Now I know a certain poster wasn't impressed with the hiring of Judy, but she is quite the observer. Now to many maybe the Murray dynasty plus Smith as DC captain, but isn't that what the LTA and British tennis needs? A togetherness and not silo's where some players/coaches get lost. Judy's comments prior to her match with Clijsters were spot on. It was if Laura heard her because she carried out her words to a T. Now if your in camp Watson, you might ask why she is not graced with the Murray presence at her matches. Step forward the Olympics and Andy and Laura played with a freedom which I haven't seen on a Wimbledon court from a Brit in years. Winning a Silver must've rubbed off on Laura. This is what success, albeit minor to some actually tastes like and being able to play the required level for that success.

3) Zelkjo Krajan. Laura for such a young age has had a few coaches. Her self discipline has come under question and how she dispensed with past coaches left more questions than answers. Krajan has only been in post a month granted, but clearly he has a plan for Laura and it is a slow one. It is widely seen that Laura's movement is not what it can be and is slow, but it has improved slightly, but such is the difference. June losing to Schiavone and then August defeating Li Na and Clijsters. Now that is some improvement. I hope that Robson and Krajan give each other what they need, time. He has worked wonders with Safina and it only gets the lips licking with what they can achieve with each other.

What else do you think has helped?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:40 pm

At the US Open are movement has improved immensely as has her speed. That is being credited to working with Andy Murray's fitness coach Jez Green.
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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:45 pm

Congratulations to LR. Thankgod we can celebrate a talent in the women's game from Britain instead of having to listen to the endless excuses and embarrasing early exits of Keothavong.

Bring on Stosur.

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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:51 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:At the US Open are movement has improved immensely as has her speed. That is being credited to working with Andy Murray's fitness coach Jez Green.

It does go to show that Andy is willing to help the youngsters out there even if it is using his coaching resources. I have always been amazed how he is overlooked by youngsters wanting a little help.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:54 pm

John wrote:Congratulations to LR. Thankgod we can celebrate a talent in the women's game from Britain instead of having to listen to the endless excuses and embarrasing early exits of Keothavong.

Bring on Stosur.
Keothavong only ever plays decent for 1 set. Just like Baltacha, who you conveniently failed to mention. Smarta$$.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:54 pm

Well Sky say they are good friends and work together which is nice to hear. I'd say as well that Laura's emergence is good news for Andy as it takes the sole weight of expectation off of his shoulders which he has carried for around five or six years now. The media now have another player to build up and offer attention to - if you see what I mean.
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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:57 pm

Well I do wonder if Laura achieved success at Masters level on the WTA tour whether Sky would queue up to secure the WTA events too.

For me if she achieved Slam success, that would put even more pressure on Andy.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:58 pm

Lots of players in the past have fluked it to a 4th round, but its very impressive how Laura has gotten there..beating two slam champions, 1 is a former number 1, Heather Watson sadly hasn't got enough depth on her forehands and waits for mistakes, have to wait how she does next year really.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:05 pm

I am not so sure though lk. Remember it is only 35 years since a British woman last won a slam whilst Murray has a 70-odd year milestone round his neck. What I mean is that prior to this US Open all British media attention/hype which must morph into pressure was all about Andy Murray. Well now that Laura is now making great strides I'd certainly say the build up to future slams in British media may be a little less Murray-focussed as Robson will be talked about as well.
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Post by carrieg4 on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:15 pm

AM has some very positive stuff to say about Laura, particularly her improved movement.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-2196004/US-Open-2012-Andy-Murray-surprised-Laura-Robsons-success.html

It looks like he is very happy to be talking about other Brits chances, not just his own.

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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:24 pm

I can see the logic CC, for me if Laura was to go one better than Andy then many questions about Andy's ability would be in question. Yes the British media interest might not be so intense, but still imagine Laura winning a Slam and then Murray with all the near misses would have a more personal pressure to win one.

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Post by The Special Juan on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:34 pm

I think it's a confidence thing. Murray chose her over Hev to play mixed with at the Olympics so that was an immediate boost to her, then they did really well and won a silver (and nearly the gold) so that was a huge boost. As you mention lk, she's been injury free for most of the year now so that's another factor. Her movement, which was her major weakness, is being improved. If they improve that and improve her running shots she'll be right there at the top of the game. Let's not overreact too much though, Clijsters and Li Na didn't play to their peak. I'm taking nothing away from Laura though, you have to beat who's in front of you.
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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:39 pm

I thought Clijsters played well TSJ. As she said she was bashing the hell out of the ball and it kept coming back. Robson played much better against Clijsters than she did against Na. Na wasn't at the races, but I felt once the 2nd set went to Na I felt she would go on win based on the stamina factor. Na's serve failed her in the third and gave Robson too many freebies.

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Post by carrieg4 on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:42 pm

The Special Juan wrote:Let's not overreact too much though, Clijsters and Li Na didn't play to their peak. I'm taking nothing away from Laura though, you have to beat who's in front of you.

Exactly TSJ, certainly great strides forward but a bit early to get over-excited. If she continues to improve she has the potential to be a consistent top 10 player in a couple of years.

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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:46 pm

If and I mean if Robson put Stosur to the sword, imagine that list Clijsters, Na, Stosur. Would that eclipse any route Andy himself has had at a Slam?

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Post by The Special Juan on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:49 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:I thought Clijsters played well TSJ. As she said she was bashing the hell out of the ball and it kept coming back. Robson played much better against Clijsters than she did against Na. Na wasn't at the races, but I felt once the 2nd set went to Na I felt she would go on win based on the stamina factor. Na's serve failed her in the third and gave Robson too many freebies.

Fair point. Clisjters played better than Na; Laura wasn't quite hitting the heights of that match but still won. Li Na is either really good or really bad, there's no middle ground with her. Can she beat my 2nd favourite non-Robson player in Stosur? Well, she's beaten Kimmy and Li Na so far, so why not? Stosur will be the one under pressure in that match as defending champion.
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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 8:50 pm

I don't know TSJ. Stosur is playing well and she will run down more balls than Na and Clijsters. If she can find her first serves with greater consistency, why not.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:03 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:I can see the logic CC, for me if Laura was to go one better than Andy then many questions about Andy's ability would be in question. Yes the British media interest might not be so intense, but still imagine Laura winning a Slam and then Murray with all the near misses would have a more personal pressure to win one.

I can't see how though as one player's ability/achievements when different sexes bears no comparison whatsoever.

As for not getting over-excited (to TSJ) lets just remember that both Clijsters and Li Na are slam winners and both played to a generally very good/high standard against Laura and yet she over-powered them. Lets remember as well that Laura is 18 and has now reached the Fourth Round of a slam event. That is an eye-opening stat in itself so there is time for even more improvement. Clearly she is moving in the right direction and I would say it is fair to say that she is the best British woman's prospect since Jo Durie in my opinion.
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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:21 pm

We are talking tennis CC so to say it bears no comparison is some what strange.

If Robson was to become a multi slam winner, Andy may yes face less pressure, but you could argue that he would personally feel the pressure to succeed.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:32 pm

I would agree with you most certainly if it were another British man coming along and making strides but Robson? No. She is competing in a totally different style/age of women's tennis if you see what I mean. That is why to me there is no comparison. I mean if Laura were to win a slam it wouldn't change anything for Andy as press/media and history would still say no British man had won a slam for seventy odd years. Nothing will change that - even Laura winning a slam. I do feel that her joining the big time which she now looks like she is doing diverts full attention into partial attention on Andy Murray at every slam every year.
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Post by Guest on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:39 pm

Yes I would be the first to agree that Laura is lucky to find herself in an era which doesn't have the Williams/Henin/Clijsters at their pomp granted, equally I would not put Murrays Slam draught down to just Djokovic and Federer being the opposition. Murray still is young enough to win Slams. He is lucky that no-one is upcoming that you could foresee as a genuine Slam threat.

For me Robson if she is to go all the way, I think the press might just divert their attention. It still wouldn't change the pressure Andy would feel.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 9:44 pm

No I am not saying anything about Murray's slam drought being down to the players he is facing - you misunderstand. I am saying that should Laura win a slam first it wouldn't change anything from Andy's point of view as in increasing the pressure as we would still be in a situation where no British man had won a slam for 70-odd years you see. The press would still refer to that stat but at least the press would have another British player to talk/speculate/hype about other than just Andy so surely that will be of a bit of a help for him.
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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:44 pm

well I watched Laura at RG back in 2009 (I think). She had the weapons (big serve, big forehand which has become even bigger, solid backhand which has become a real weapon). For me two main things have changed

1) Movement. Rightly flagged by a few in this discussion, Laura's movement used to be quite dreadful TBH, but it's come on leaps and bounds, and she can now scramble and play the defensive points, something she couldn't do before. There's still room for improvement there, but being 18 I expect her to continue the upward curve.

2) Mental aspect: before she could drift out of matches after a good set, or get down on herself after a couple of errors. She seems much better now: in fact in the last two matches the way she's bounced back from disappointments and has been able to bring out the big serves on key points has been hugely impressive.

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