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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 16:03 UK

Robson reign ended by narrow loss

WIMBLEDON
Date: 22 June - 5 July
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Laura Robson

Highlights - Robson bows out of girls' singles

By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Britain's Laura Robson was hampered by a back injury as her defence of her Wimbledon girls' title was ended in the third round by Quirine Lemoine.

The world number one's mobility was restricted in the first set, which she lost after receiving lengthy treatment.

But she hit back to snatch the second set with a timely break at 5-4.

Robson, at 15 two years younger than her Dutch opponent, saved four match points in the decider but was beaten 6-2 4-6 8-6 in two hours 17 minutes.

The second seed revealed afterwards that her back problem first occurred 10 days ago and got progressively worse.

"It is still pretty sore and I'm not playing doubles because the doctors advised me not to," Robson said.

"But I don't think I will be out for that long.

"We don't know exactly what it is yet - we hope to find out in the next couple of days.

"It gradually got worse throughout the match today. It felt like I could not hit the ball that hard, especially on my serve, so it was difficult but I wanted to keep going.

It has been a good two weeks, it is just unfortunate it had to end this way

Laura Robson

"I thought I could have done a couple of things better today but I was really limited because of my back. It is really disappointing and frustrating but you can only learn.

Robson appeared uncomfortable from the start and constantly clutched her lower back as she was broken twice to trail 0-3.

She took a long medical time-out and, helped by a clutch of double-faults from Lemoine, immediately took the next two games.

But Robson continued to need treatment from the physio at every change-over and her restricted movement took the sting out of her attacking shots.

And a rash of uncharacteristic unforced errors let Lemoine take the first set without losing another game.

Laura Robson
Robson needed frequent treatment on a back injury early on

Even when she put her back problems behind her in the second set, the British number one struggled to live with the power and pace of Lemoine.

A succession of double-faults - she hit 11 in all during the match - mean Robson found it tough to defend her own serve.

But she battled on and, leading 5-4, she found the perfect moment to force the only break of the second set when a double-fault by Lemoine levelled the match.

Both girls looked tired at the start of the decider, trading breaks to leave it delicately poised at 3-3.

Again, Robson's serve faltered and, after being broken to trail 5-3, she had to save three match-points - the final one coming with a delicious lob.

By now the crowd on Court 18 were roaring her on and an unlikely comeback looked a real possibility when she took the next two games too to lead 6-5.

But it was Lemoine who had the last word in a thrilling encounter, holding serve before breaking Robson again, this time to love, and serving an ace for victory on her fifth match-point.

606: DEBATE
Henman is God

Robson, who had lost to Daniela Hantuchova in the first round of the women's singles, had been due to team up with Sloane Stephens of the United States to face British duo Samantha Vickers and Lisa Whybourn in the girls' doubles.

Instead, her Wimbledon is over but she is still pleased with her performances over the past 10 days.

"I thought my first two matches in juniors were pretty good," Robson added. "And against Hantuchova I was really proud of myself, so it has been a good two weeks, it is just unfortunate it had to end this way."

Tom Farquharson, the only surviving Briton in the boys' singles, lost his third-round match with Australia's Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-4.



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see also
Murray reaches doubles semi-final
02 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Murray through to Wimbledon semis
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Roddick win sets up Murray clash
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Haas stuns Djokovic to make semis
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Federer sees off Karlovic threat
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Big-serving Robson powers through
30 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Robson eases to opening victory
29 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Teenager Robson loses debut match
21 Oct 08 |  Tennis
Briton Robson wins girls' title
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Press and Journal Robson defence ends in heartache - 26 hrs ago
The Independent Growing pains end reign for Robson - 40 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited Robson ends junior career with painful defeat - 41 hrs ago
Telegraph Wimbledon 2009: Laura Robson crashes out of girls' singles to Quirine Lemoine - 43 hrs ago
Sporting Life INJURED ROBSON BOWS OUT - 44 hrs ago


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