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Page last updated at 20:24 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 21:24 UK

Defeat ends Robson's US Open bid

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 31 August - 13 September
BBC coverage: Live text commentaries on the website from 1600 BST each day, regular updates on 5 live, full commentary on 5 live sports extra in week two, both finals on 5 live, tennis special on 5 live (3 September, 2000-2100 BST)

Laura Robson
Robson is currently ranked number 460 in the world

British teenager Laura Robson saw her hopes of qualifying for a Grand Slam for the first time end with a dramatic defeat by Eva Hrdinova at the US Open.

The 15-year-old resumed at a set down after rain had stopped play on Friday.

She made a poor start on Saturday but fought back to lead 4-1 and 6-5 in the decider, before the 25-year-old Czech won 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 7-6 (7-4).

Compatriot Elena Baltacha also fell at the final hurdle, losing 4-6 6-2 6-4 to Australia's Anastasia Rodionova.

Robson was hoping to become the youngest player in the women's draw at Flushing Meadows, with the tournament proper getting under way on Monday.

She had led 5-2 at one point on Friday and saw two set points go begging before Hrdinova - ranked 257 places higher at number 203 - edged the tie-break.


The Czech took advantage of a slow start from Robson on Saturday, with the Londoner making a double-fault on her way to dropping serve in game two and slamming her racquet down in anger as she fell a set and 3-0 down.

Robson then showed the form that made her Wimbledon junior champion in 2008, reeling off 10 of the next 11 games to level the match and move 4-1 clear in the decider, with points for 5-1.

But Hrdinova, who had taken an injury time-out midway through the set, recovered to lead 5-4 as nerves began to take their toll on Robson and the Czech appeared poised for victory.

The Briton was not done, however, and conquered her nerves to take eight of the next nine points for 6-5 but was swiftly broken when serving for the match.

Dealing with nerves is something I have to get used to

Laura Robson

It came down to a tie-break and an early double-fault from Robson helped Hrdinova into a lead that she did not relinquish, sealing victory in a match that lasted three hours and 11 minutes over two days.

"I don't know what I was thinking out there," said Robson.

"It got to the point where I forgot to keep breathing. It's pretty hard to play tennis when you can't breathe.

"I was lucky enough to get a wildcard into qualifying here, and so I'm glad it happened in qualifiers now than in two years' time in the main draw.

"It's all about experience - dealing with nerves is something I have to get used to.

"The first two matches were good, it was really fun, a really good experience. The third set today wasn't that fun. Well, half of it was."

Robson, the world number 460, had been given a wild card into qualifying and beat world number 128 Stephanie Foretz in the first round and the 253rd-ranked Aniko Kapros in round two.

The Londoner played her only senior Grand Slam match to date at Wimbledon where she was given a wild card, losing in three sets to Daniela Hantuchova in the first round.

Baltacha, seeded second in the qualifying tournament, lost her rain-delayed final-round match despite winning the first set against Russian-born Rodionova, seeded 30.

"My serve really let me down today," she said. "I don't even want to look at the stats for my serve - it must have been like 20% or something, and that didn't help me at all."

Her defeat left Britain without representation in the women's draw, with number one Anne Keothavong out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.

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see also
Robson creates shock at US Open
26 Aug 09 |  Tennis
Keothavong out for rest of season
29 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Robson reign ended by narrow loss
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Laura Robson loses at Wimbledon
22 Jun 09 |  Sport
Robson loses final in Australia
31 Jan 09 |  Sport
What now for Laura Robson?
07 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Briton Robson wins girls' title
05 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Robson flies flag for Britain
03 Jul 08 |  Tennis

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