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Robson ready to build on qualifying run

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:45

The 15-year-old former Wimbledon junior champion lost a final-set tiebreaker last night in her final qualifying-round match, beaten 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) by Eva Hrdinova of the Czech Republic.

Robson, who will now concentrate on her bid for a second junior grand slam title, said: “I think it’s definitely going to help. I thought I played really well for all of the matches really, it was just I didn’t finish it off the way that I wanted to.”

World number 460 Robson had scored two big upsets in getting to the final qualifying round beating players as many as 300 places above her in the rankings, but came up just short against Hrdinova, ranked 203 and 10 years her senior.

Robson put up a sterling performance to come back from a set and 3-0 down to tie the match and stand on the brink of making the main draw at 4-0 up in the third, only to wilt down the stretch as the more experienced Hrdinova pulled rank. The teenager is determined to take positives from her run in the senior qualifiers.

“The first two matches were good and it was really fun and a really good experience,” she said. “Only the third set of that match today wasn’t that fun. Well, half of it was.

“I was lucky enough to get a wild card into qualifying and then I’m just glad that something as unfortunate as this happened in a qualifier now rather than in two years in the main draw. It’s all about experience really, dealing with nerves and all that, it’s just something you have to get used to.”

There was another upside at being in the junior draw. She said: “I get to stay in New York for three weeks. My mum’s coming for the juniors and we’ll have to go shopping, and my sister.”

Fellow Briton Elena Baltacha will also have to hang around a little longer despite her 4-6 6-2 6-4 defeat to Russian-born Australian Anastasia Rodionova at the same stage of qualifying.

As the second seed in the tournament and having reached the final round of qualifying, Baltacha could yet make it into the main draw as a lucky loser if there are late withdrawals.

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