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Robson ‘really excited’ ahead of Australian Open

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Originally published on: 13/01/13 00:00

Robson warmed up for the first Grand Slam of the year with fellow pros Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Kirilenko on Sunday but the practise wasn’t exactly what you’d call conventional. The trio took to a West Melbourne court made entirely of mirrors as they officially launched adidas’ new Stella McCartney Barricade range.

Robson has climbed almost 80 ranking places to No.50 since her last visit Down Under and with a first round match-up against world No.82 Melanie Oudin penciled in for Tuesday, the young Brit is hoping she can seize the opportunity to capture her first ever win in Melbourne…

We know you’ve done promotional work before but have you ever done anything on this level with this much attention?

No actually. Well, this is definitely my first time on a mirrored court! But I think all the pictures are going to look really cool and hopefully it will all turn out nice.

How does it feel to be part of the Stella McCartney Barricade crew? adidas have a long history of top leading ladies and now you’re one of them.

It’s really exciting. You know I’ve always appreciated Stella’s designs and she’s made some fantastic tennis outfits in the past. I’m really happy with what she’s designed for us this year and I think we’re all excited to start playing in them.

Have you noticed any difference in people’s attitudes towards you since your breakthrough at the US Open?

No I don’t think so. I think everything has pretty much stayed the same so, you know, all I can do is keep improving and hopefully the Australian Open will be a good tournament for me.

What are your thoughts going into the tournament and playing Melanie Oudin, another good young player?

I’m really excited. I’ve played Mel a few times before. Last time was in qualifying here last year (when Robson won in straight sets), so it’s going to be a really tough match but I feel like I’m ready and hopefully I’ll be able to win it.

How do you prepare for a big match like this? Do you or your team spend time looking at old videos of your opponent?

No, I know how she plays and my coach knows how she plays so we’re just going to keep working on the things that I need to improve on rather than focusing on the opponent.

When you walk away from this tournament, what will have made you happy?

Well I haven’t set any goals but hopefully I can do even better than at the US Open and that is what I would love to do. I’m looking forward to the start of the tournament.

What aspects of your game have you been working on in the off-season?

We mostly worked on a bit of everything really. There were so many things that needed improving and hopefully the hard work that I did in those six weeks will show on Tuesday.

Did you spend more time on court during pre-season or off it working on the physical aspect of your game?

I say it was pretty equal. I generally played two sessions a day and did two fitness sessions a day as well so yeah, I put in a lot of work so hopefully that will set a good base for the rest of the year.

Last year at Eastbourne you told us your goal for the rest of 2012 was to stay fit and healthy and you far exceeded that. Have you set yourself goals for 2013?

Nothing specific. I think more of the same of staying fit and healthy. If I can stay injury free for this whole year then that will definitely be a massive positive.

How do you go about planning your schedule this year because obviously you’ve got a much higher ranking than you did at this time last year?

I think this time last year I was ranked around 125, something like that. So it has been quite a big jump but it’s good because I will be able to play more main draws and more of the bigger tournaments but still mixing in with some of the lower WTAs. I just want to try and play as many matches as I can really.

So your Gangnam Style video has almost 350,000 hits. Any plans to direct and star in another viral while you’re here in Australia?

Ha! No plans as of yet. There hasn’t really been another song with a matching dance routine for me to do it to.

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