Pressure now on Robson after Murray Triumph
Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory will go down as a red-letter day in British sport. The world number two’s straight sets win over Novak Djokovic brought to an end a nation’s 77-year wait for a home-grown champion.
The 26-year-old has admitted it hasn’t been easy coping with the pressure of winning the All England Club championship and hopes, having matched Fred Perry’s triumph in 1936, life will be easier when he returns to SW19 to defend his title next year.
As is always the way with the British press, the focus is now likely to shift slightly from Murray to another home grown talent who has shown signs of being a future Wimbledon champion. Step forward Laura Robson.
The 2008 junior Wimbledon champion matched her best performance at a Grand Slam event with her showing in London this year, the 19-year-old making it through to the fourth round of the championships.
Along the way, Robson claimed the scalp of tenth seed, Maria Kirilenko, while showing her fighting spirit when coming back from the brink to defeat Marina Erakovic in round three.
While Murray did not make his Wimbledon debut until he was 18, Robson has been in the main draw for the last five years and will no doubt have gained invaluable experience from her time on the grass courts.
Despite still being a teenager, Robson’s monster ground strokes have made her a formidable opponent and one the majority of the top ten would prefer to avoid.
While she can be erratic with her serve and shot selection at times, those kinks are likely to iron themselves out with further grand slam experience. In new coach, Miles Maclagan, Robson has a mentor with plenty of know-how when it comes to developing stars of the future, the 36-year-old having worked with Murray until 2010.
The British number one has all the makings of a future champion and that will not escape the attention of the English press. Virginia Wade was the last British winner of the women’s title at Wimbledon in 1977 and after crossing Murray off their list, the media will be looking for someone to eclipse Wade’s achievement.
As such, you can expect the headlines this time next year to read ‘Can Robson end 37 years of hurt?’ That is a question which is unlikely to be answered next year but very possibly could be in the affirmative in the next decade.