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ROBSON KICKS BUTT AFTER NERVY START.

Byline: PAUL HIRST

LAURA Robson could not contain her excitement after mounting an incredible comeback to become the first British woman to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon in 15 years.

As Robson said afterwards, she was getting her "butt kicked" in the first set of yesterday's Court Two clash against world number 71 Marina Erakovic.

The 19-year-old climbed off the canvas, however, coming back from a break down in the second set to record a rousing 1-6 7-5 6-3 win on a sun-baked Court Two.

"I was getting my butt kicked, basically," Robson said. "I was really struggling to return her serve.

"She is playing really well and I just thought I would try as best as I can, work as hard as possible, and just stick with it until she started to get nervous, which is what happened."

The last time that a Briton made it through to the fourth round was when Sam Smith enjoyed a memorable run to the second week in 1998.

Robson has the potential to go even further as her next opponent will be Alison Riske or Kaia Kanepi.

Robson's stock is already high after she beat tenth seed Maria Kirilenko on Tuesday.

She will now definitely enter the WTA top 30 after her performance this week. The last time that a British woman reached that high was in 1987.

"I am really excited," Robson added.

"It's only my second time in the fourth round of a slam and I am pretty happy with how I closed things out today."

Robson admitted to being nervous at the start of her last match and it was clear that was the case again yesterday.

Erakovic took less than two min-utes to wrap up the first game and Robson was broken in the second.

One of Robson's most powerful assets, her forehand, was proving wayward.

Erakovic had two break points in the sixth game and Robson put a backhand wide from deep, and soon the set was over.

Conviction Robson began the second set with far greater conviction, dropping just one point in her opening two service games.

Frustration at failing to break Erakovic's serve became clear when she lashed the ball into the net in frustration shortly after losing a rally.

Erakovic never looked like being broken at that point and her movement was far superior to Robson's, although she did slip at one point.

The Kiwi broke serve after Robson put a backhand wide. Robson then had her first two break points of the match but Erakovic held to move 4-2 ahead.

It looked all but over, however the jitters then hit Erakovic, who double-faulted to hand Robson two break points.

The youngster returned long to blow the first chance, but a punishing forehand winner followed.

Robson held from that point on to move 6-5 ahead, which was the point at which Erakovic buckled again, double-faulting.

The crowd rose to their feet to acclaim Robson levelling the contest. The momentum Robson had gathered followed her into the decider and she sped 4-0 in front. Erakovic stopped Robson's run of eight consecutive games by breaking serve in the fifth, but the Briton was still one break ahead.

Roared on by a patriotic following, Robson hit a forehand winner down the line before punching the air as the crowd rose again, this time to salute a most gutsy victory.

CAPTION(S):

NO SURRENDER: Laura Robson celebrates her comeback win.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2013
Words:573
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