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Robson's power not enough to up in lights... of Times Square beat Schiavone.


LAURA ROBSON failed to cope with Francesca Schiavone's pedestrian tactics as the teenage Briton crashed out of Wimbledon.

Robson, 97th in the world, is ranked 71 places below Schiavone, but the 18-year-old Londoner made the 2010 French Open champion look ordinary in the first set by putting on a majestic display of powerful baseline tennis.

Schiavone regained her composure, however, and survived three break points in the second set before running out a 2-6 6-4 6-4 winner.

Schiavone caused mumblings of discontent in the Court Two crowd on several occasions, grunting throughout and asking for her towel repeatedly in an apparent attempt to knock the home favourite off her stride.

Robson stopped short of criticising her Italian opponent, but conceded the 32-year-old's approach made life hard at times.

A crestfallen Robson said afterwards: "In general I think she took a lot of time between points, and that gave me more time to think about what I was doing. I think that's really tough."

Serena Williams Schiavone defended her conduct by saying she had every right to bide her time.

"She wanted to be fast, and sometimes you have to stop a little bit more," Schiavone said.

"We have a lot of seconds (between points), and it's important to use them.

"We forget that because we are in a rush, but it's important to play at the best, and not just keep running and running."

Tim Dickinson (inset) and his picture in Times Square (bottom right) Robson took just 25 minutes to wrap up the first set against 24th seed Schiavone, but she lost momentum in the second.

Schiavone had 15 minutes' worth of off-court treatment for a back injury, and also called the physio to the court twice more, but she did need any medical help in the deciding set.

Robson denied the break which followed the first set had anything to do with her defeat.

"I don't think it affected me because I won my first service game in the second set, and then I was holding serve fairly easily until the one service game that I lost," Robson added.

"I just tried to go for a little bit too much on my first serve.

My work's "I should have just stuck with how I was playing before."

After the second set, the battling spirit Robson exhibited at the start of the match disappeared as she was broken twice in the third.

in middle She narrowed the gap with a service break of her own, but it was not enough to save her from defeat.

The former Wimbledon junior champion was left to reflect on what had become a great chance to take the scalp of the former world number four, which she squandered.

"I'm really disappointed today," Robson said.

"But she's a grand slam champion and I am definitely closer to winning matches like this than I was a few months ago."

Serena Williams succeeded where sister Venus failed by making it through to the second round.

The younger of the two sisters, who has four Wimbledon titles to Venus' five, claimed a straight-sets victory against Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

On Monday Venus lost on the same court to Russian Elena Vesnina but Serena gave a more effective performance to win 6-2 6-4. Serena complained about having to play on Court Two last summer but had no qualms with the decision yesterday.

She said: "I'm over it. I don't care to talk about it. It was a little bit of a relief to get through. I was happy with how I played."

Second seed Victoria Azarenka breezed past American 22-year-old Irina Falconi on Court One.

Falconi's compatriot Christina McHale won her marathon match against Johanna Konta 6-7 (7/4) 6-2 10-8 to make it through to the second round.

Russia's Vera Zvonareva survived a scare to beat Mona Barthel in three sets while 19th seed Lucie Safarova vanquished Holland's Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-0 on Court Four. Chinese 25th seed Jie Zheng needed three sets to beat Canada's Stephanie Dubois on Court 19 while Mirjana Lucic beat Alexandra Panova to set up a second-round game against ninth seed Marion Bartoli, who beat Australia's Casey Dellacqua in straight sets.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, seeded 31st, took just over an hour to swat aside Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6-1 6-2 while Kristyna Pliskova beat Polona Hercog to set up a second-round tie against Schiavone.

Aleksandra Wozniak beat Vera Dushevina of Russia 6-2 7-5 and there were also wins for Romina Oprandi and Yaroslava Shvedova.


Laura Robson (main) overpowered Francesca Schiavone (inset) in her first set yesterday but eventually lost 2-6 6-4 6-4
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2012
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