Laura Robson: Britain's Tennis Star of the Future
In a modest suburban house in Wimbledon, south London, the Robson family sit down for breakfast. 14-year-old Laura sits at the table with her father Andrew and her mother Kathy. Like millions of other families across Britain, they chit-chat about the day ahead.
But unlike all the other discussions, theirs is a little different.
Sponsored by Wilson and Adidas, Laura is not your average 14-year-old schoolgirl. Laura was crowned Girls’ Wimbledon Junior Champion 2008 on Court One at Wimbledon on Saturday, July 5.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, her father is an oil executive with Dutch Shell, while her mother is a former professional basketball player and sports coach.
She moved to London at the age of six with her parents. When her father got his British passport this year, Laura took dual nationality.
Laura has won five junior titles in the last two years and reached five other finals.
Representing Britain, she beat American top seed Melanie Oudin in the second round of the tournament.
She admitted feeling overwhelmed as she stepped out on Court One for the final against third seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand.
Laura told the BBC: “"I didn't feel relaxed and thought I was going to be sick when I walked on court because there were so many people watching.”
Laura won 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to clinch the title.
She is 6-1 with some bookmakers to be crowned Wimbledon senior singles champion by 2020. But she knows not to be carried away, as only four junior winners have won the senior crown. Only Martina Hingis and Amelie Mauresmo have achieved this since 1960.
She is the youngest girl's champion since 13-year-old Martina Hingis won in 1994, and the first British singles champion at Wimbledon since Annabel Croft won the girls' title in 1984.
Despite her rapid rise into the public eye, she seems to have kept her feet on the ground.
She said: “I have to keep my schoolwork in order—my mum says there's always room for that."
And like any normal teenager she has a crush on a sports idol.
But unlike most, she received a letter from Russian player Marat Safin, after inviting him to the Wimbledon winners ball. Although he turned her down, she was delighted that he had replied.
Asked whether she was more excited about the letter or her Wimbledon win, she replied: "The letter for sure."
This change in life-style is something she’ll have to get used to as she steps on to the senior international stage. Although she did not receive any prize money, she is set to gain a wild card to next year’s senior tournament.
But for now, it’s back to the books as she continues her GCSE studies. But first, she plans to celebrate with a special dinner.
She said: "We haven't been to Pizza Hut in years – that's like a big occasion."
Who knows, maybe Murray Mound will one day become Laura’s Lump.
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