LONDON, Great Britain – It was a disappointed Laura Robson who took her seat in front of the tennis media at Wimbledon on Monday afternoon.
Dressed all in black, with a matching hat pulled down over her forehead, the color of her clothes clearly matched her mood. The British No.4, awarded a wildcard by the tournament organizers, had been knocked out by Brazil's Beatriz Haddid Maia in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, just over an hour before, and was clearly stung by the manner of her defeat.
“I just didn’t feel like I played my best tennis,” she said, with a degree of understatement. “It wasn’t the way I’ve been playing the last few weeks either.”
The 23-year-old praised her opponent, saying: “She had a tricky serve, I was finding it hard to read, and it kind of gets a hold of you…she played solid,” before adding: “She didn’t have to do a lot, to be fair.”
The World No.189 did not really need to explain that she was angry with herself for her performance against a player ranked 98 spots higher and looking for her first main-draw win at the tournament.
Robson said repeatedly that she felt like she had let herself down; a serious wrist injury kept her out of the game for large parts of 2014 and 2015 and since then she has struggled to reproduce the kinds of displays that dazzled when she first burst on to the Tour despite decent results at lower-level events.
“There’s that extra bit of difference when you come back up to these events,” she said. “You do feel it, straightaway the pace of the ball, and the opportunities that you get on break points and things like that. I’m dropping back again after this to get more matches and get my ranking up.”
For now, she wants to forget her disappointment; she hopes to have a busy fortnight ahead as she pairs up once more with Jocelyn Rae for the doubles.
“We play a lot better tennis when we’re relaxed and enjoying ourselves,” she said.
And she was insistent that she does still enjoy the hard grind of the Tour and of tournaments – and that she is all set for more hard work. That doesn't mean she's chasing a particular ranking, though. She just wants to get back to winning ways.
"It is what it is," she said reflectively. "As long as you get as many matches as you can...you move up with the wins."
Visit www.wimbledon.com to watch live streaming via ‘The Wimbledon Channel’.