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Briton Robson wins girls' title

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14-year-old Briton Laura Robson's magic Wimbledon-winning moment

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Laura Robson became the first Briton to win the Wimbledon girls' title since 1984 with victory over Thai third seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn on Court One.

The 14-year-old Londoner came through 6-3 3-6 6-1 to match Annabel Croft's achievement of 24 years ago and win an event open to players aged up to 18.

Robson was playing in front of the biggest crowd of her life and against an opponent two years older than her.

But she held her nerve to dominate a tense final set in blustery conditions.

"It was so good today as all the crowd were behind me and it was an overhwelming experience," she told BBC Sport.

"I thought I was going to be sick when I walked on court as there were so many people watching.

Robson ecstatic after winning girls' title

"In the second set I went a bit mad but I got it back together and that is how I won I think."

Robson was born in Australia and spent the first six years of her life in Singapore, but now lives just five minutes' walk from the All England Club.

She follows the likes of Amelie Mauresmo, Martina Hingis and Tracy Austin as a winner of the junior singles title.

The victory means she will be considered for a wildcard into next year's senior event at the All England Club.

Robson, who does not turn 15 until 21 January, was the youngest player in any event at this year's Wimbledon and plans to start competing in senior events next year.

The pressure was on the home favourite, with LTA chief Roger Draper and GB Fed Cup coach Nigel Sears among the crowd on a packed Court One.

Hopefully they will give me a wildcard into next year's senior event

Laura Robson
But despite the crowd and the windy conditions, the Briton remained as unruffled as she has throughout the tournament, breaking at the first opportunity.

Lertcheewakarn got back on level terms when Robson netted a forehand in game five, but from that moment the Briton took charge of the set.

The second followed a similar pattern at first, with Robson twice going a break up, before the Thai finally found her rhythm off the ground and reeled off four straight games.

Robson grabbed the initiative in the opening game of the decider with a blistering forehand from outside the tram lines.

Again she broke at the first opportunity before handing the initiative straight back, but the key this time was that Robson managed to consolidate the next break to lead 4-1.

She was able to relax and really attack the next Lertcheewakarn service game, breaking again before serving out the match on her second championship point.

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Speaking immediately afterwards, Robson was keen to look ahead to the 2009 Championships.

"Hopefully they will give me a wildcard into next year's senior event," she said. "I think last year they gave it to the winners of the juniors so hopefully they wil give it to me."

Asked if she had received any response from Marat Safin after saying on Friday that she would like to escort the Russian to the champions' ball, she said: "His agent gave me a letter from him today and it said… I've got it memorised actually… 'To Laura, I'm sorry I couldn't come to the ball but good luck for the final' and then he signed his name. It was really nice."

And should she get a wildcard for next year's event and find herself drawn against champion Venus Williams, Robson will not be lacking in confidence.

"I will take her down!" she joked.

Robson later came into the Royal Box on Centre Court, after the women's doubles final, to rapturous applause to be presented with her trophy in front of the crowd there.


see also
Wimbledon day 12 as it happened
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon photos
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Robson sweeps into girls' final
04 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Robson flies flag for Britain
03 Jul 08 |  Tennis


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