Getting To Know... Laura Robson
Published June 26, 2012 09:27
LONDON, England - Great Britain is a nation long starved of tennis success. It has been 35 painful years since Virginia Wade gave the Queen the perfect silver jubilee present by lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish on the second Saturday of Wimbledon, and there has been precious little for the home crowds to cheer about since.
This could all be about to change, though, as a talented crop of British youngsters look set to end the years of hurt. Leading the way is 2008 Wimbledon junior champion Laura Robson, who after a stop start few years finally looks ready to take her place at the top table of women's tennis.
Still just 18 years old, Robson broke into the Top 100 for the first time in her career on Monday after a successful few weeks on the grass, and before heading to the All-England Club wtatennis.com sat down with her to chat about her game, goals and potential future career paths.
How did you get into tennis?
LR: My family played doubles and there were five of us so I was always the odd one out and had to pick up all the balls. And if I did a good job as a ball kid I got to play for 10 minutes at the end. I just loved it straight away and kept asking to play longer and when they played doubles I tried to sneak my way onto court!
Can you tell us about your family?
LR: I've got an older brother and an older sister. My brother is studying at Durham University and my sister works as an architect and lives out in Melbourne. Apart from my mother, my family don't really play much tennis, although my sister did beat me the last time we played - I think she's holding on to that because she won't give me a rematch!
Who coaches you at the moment?
LR: I'm currently being coached by Claire Curran and I also have a lot of help from Sven Groeneveld. I'm really happy with how things are going at the moment and I feel comfortable and confident in my game.
How would you describe your game?
LR: Aggressive, occasionally risky, but just generally aggressive and attacking.
Are there any areas you're looking to improve on at the moment?
LR: I think I can improve on everything, really. As long as I practice really hard and stay dedicated I don't see why all areas of my game can't keep on improving.
Who has been your toughest opponent?
LR: Probably Sharapova last year at Wimbledon, or maybe Dementieva when she was still playing. She had a great game and was really tough to play.
Did you have a tennis idol growing up?
LR: Definitely Steffi Graf. She was such a legend! I actually met her when I went to Las Vegas for a few days before Indian Wells this year and I was completely star-struck and I couldn't even speak! She still hits the ball so well, though. When I was there she was hitting with Pavlyuchenkova and she didn't miss a ball for like 45 minutes!
What are your goals for this year and your career?
LR: To start with I want to finish the year in the Top 100 for sure. But in the long term, you know, I haven't really thought about it yet, I'm just playing one tournament at a time and keep trying to improve.
What do you like to do to for fun?
LR: I read a lot. I listen to a lot of music - I'm a big music person. In terms of books, I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but I wouldn't recommend it at all! As for music, I like a bit of everything, and Ben Howard is probably my favorite at the moment and I'm going to his concert in November.
How about TV shows?
LR: I just finished watching Game of Thrones - it was unreal! And I'm currently watching Homeland, which is really good so far.
If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
LR: One word? That's tough! Hmmm… weird.
If you could meet anyone in the world who would you like it to be?
LR: I've met the Queen already. She was my one person so now it would have to be Ryan Gosling.
If you weren't a tennis player what would you be doing now?
LR: I think I'd be a chef.