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Robmond Bridge The Age Gap

The first-time team of Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson created one of the stories of the tournament when they reached the final in Miami last month.

Published April 08, 2013 04:27

Robmond Bridge The Age Gap
Lisa Raymond, Laura Robson

Lisa Raymond and Laura Robson's last-minute partnership and subsequent run to the final was one of the feel-good stories at the recent Sony Open Tennis.

Thrown together thanks to a shared agent and the 11th hour withdrawal of Raymond's original partner, Samantha Stosur, the chemistry between the pair was instant, swatting aside the experienced American team of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in their opening match.

That was after just one hurriedly arranged practice session, and their relationship - both on and off the court - blossomed rapidly.

Three more victories were to follow, most notably a 61 62 destruction of the WTA's leading team, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, in the semifinals. However, just as entertaining as their tennis were the performances in the interview room afterwards.

In fact, such was the rapport between the charismatic pairing in front of the assembled media corps that it was not long before 'Robmond' was added to the Crandon Park vernacular.

Despite a 20-year age gap, there were no awkward silences between Raymond and Robson, who even found some common ground in their love of horror movies and 1980s music.

"We have the same taste in music," Robson said. "Sometimes I prefer more recent stuff, but we were singing music from the 1980s before our last match with 'Time After Time,' by Cyndi Lauper."

Raymond, whose time on the tour began one year before Robson was born, in 1993, has enjoyed a glittering career, picking up 79 doubles titles, six of which have come at Grand Slam level.

Among her previous partners is Lindsay Davenport, and Raymond has already spotted similarities between Robson and the former World No.1.

"I liken her to a young Lindsay Davenport. The way the ball comes off her racket, she's such a clean striker of the ball, and she has a phenomenal future ahead of her. The fact that she is a leftie as well. Keep an eye out for this girl," Raymond said.

And the admiration was mutual, with Robson crediting her experienced partner for bringing out the best from both of them.

"I thought we played really well; straight from the start we were firing," Robson said. "I was very aggressive from the baseline and Lisa was picking them off at the net. She helps me refocus because I start singing along to the music, and she says 'Come on, focus'.

"My own sister's 10 years older than me, so the age difference isn't a problem. I think we got along really well on court, and Lisa has the experience. When it's a tight point or something, she has the wise words that she comes out with, so it was really fun and I think we're just going to keep getting better and better."

Robson's singles commitments mean that the partnership is likely to go on hold for the near future, although both players have already confirmed that they will reunite on the grass this June at Wimbledon.

"I love this partnership and I need to play with somebody who is fully committed to the doubles and going to play a full schedule, because I think it's important to be on the court together as much as possible and gain that momentum," Raymond said.

"I thought we played amazingly well, seeing as it was only our first tournament together," Robson added. "I think we have so much to improve on in the future and I think we can do really well, especially on grass this summer."

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