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July 4, 2008
L. ROBSON/R. Tabakova
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Can we get the underhand serve out of the way first. How surprised were you by it?
LAURA ROBSON: That was the first time I've ever seen that in my life. But it worked, so fair play to her.
But I don't think the crowd liked it very much.
Q. Must have shown how much you were getting to her that she would resort to such a tactic.
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, for me, after that point, I was just thinking, if she's that desperate, I must be in a good situation.
Q. You roared through the first set in 27 minutes. You must have been feeling very good about yourself.
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, and then at the end of the first set she took a toilet break. She obviously got it back together again, so the second set was much tougher.
Q. Have you signed autographs before?
LAURA ROBSON: I played an under-14 tournament in France this year, and there was about 2000 people watching the final of that.
So I've had that experience before, but there were still quite a few today.
Q. Do you know how to sign the first time? Did you have an idea in your head how to sign an autograph?
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, kind of. You just put your little signature there.
Q. Some people do it really quickly.
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, I haven't mastered that quite yet (smiling).
Q. Every day this week seems to have been like a personal best performance from you. Does it feel that way?
LAURA ROBSON: I think my second-round match was definitely the best because I knew that if I didn't play as well as I did, then I probably would have had a different result.
But I'm just playing as well as I can and then trying to keep my cool all the time, and that's paying off.
Q. Can you sum up how it feels to get into a Wimbledon final?
LAURA ROBSON: Really, really good (smiling). It's just an overwhelming experience. There were so many people watching me today. The crowd and the support is really, really good.
Q. Did you have any indication of the severity of her injury?
LAURA ROBSON: Not really. I didn't really look to see what the physio was doing. But she just said to the referee that she had cramps.
Q. I read somewhere that you were in Switzerland with Martina Hingis. Could you tell us something more about that.
LAURA ROBSON: I went there quite a while ago, about two years ago, so I can't really remember much. But I just remember her mum was like really, really professional and you got there a half an hour before practice. I think that helped a lot, because I started to realize what I needed to do to become better.
Q. Does it worry you that you're 14 and already being billed as the future of English tennis.
LAURA ROBSON: I try not to think about it too much. But it's nice in a way 'cause that means that everyone's thinking you are really good. So I'll take it as a compliment really.
Q. One of the nice things about watching you is you don't resort to the grunt for every groundstroke. Do you shun it because you don't like the practice, or is it because you haven't learned how to do it yet?
LAURA ROBSON: No, I don't think I'll ever do it. Because I think when people do do it, it is off-putting and they do do it on purpose. I didn't really want to get into that.
Q. I was wondering what your yellow wristband says.
LAURA ROBSON: It's just a charity. It's encouraging kids in third world countries to play sports.
Q. How has it been for your mum?
LAURA ROBSON: My mum and the rest of my family have been the best support team ever. They were on TV yesterday. The camera focusing in on them. My brother actually winked at the camera, so that was slightly embarrassing. Yeah, he was just enjoying it as well.
Q. What will it be like for the final?
LAURA ROBSON: I can imagine my mum being pretty nervous, but my dad is just really calm. He's the calm person of the family.
Q. How about you?
LAURA ROBSON: I think I will be quite nervous, but I'm just gonna try to put that in the back of my head.
Q. Do you know much about your opponent?
LAURA ROBSON: Not really. I played the Eastbourne Invitational event with her two weeks ago. She seemed like a pretty good player then, but I really haven't seen much of her matches this week.
Q. What will you do to prepare? Look at back tapes?
LAURA ROBSON: Not really. I'll just play my own game, and then if the first set or something doesn't go well tomorrow then I'll have to change it.
Q. After you got the break back in the second set, following her treatment, you continued to go for some big shots, which here and there seemed risky. Do you have any recollection of how you were playing at that time?
LAURA ROBSON: I think going for winners was kind of what I was trying to do. I think staying in a rally with her wouldn't have been a really good idea because she had a really strong backhand.
But I just kind of went for everything, and it did work, so...
Q. What do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?
LAURA ROBSON: I'm not sure really. I mean, I'd like to be playing seniors. And then if I win tomorrow I'll get the wild card obviously. But that would be really good.
But I'll just see what happens.
Q. I suppose a lot of people say they've been surprised with how you've done this week. As you look back at the week, people who follow junior tennis more, your results have been very good over the last six months. Have you been surprised with your run to the final?
LAURA ROBSON: I didn't think I would get to the final at the start of the week. I've had some good results in the past three or four months, so it was kind of expected, just not this soon, I think.
Q. What are you going to do tonight to stay calm and prepare for tomorrow's match?
LAURA ROBSON: Just my usual routines. Having dinner at home and then not really doing much in the evening. Then tomorrow I'm really looking forward because I get to pick out a dress and stuff for the champions ball.
Q. Do you know which court you're on yet?
LAURA ROBSON: No, I don't actually. I remember last year they played the girl's final on Court 2, so maybe they'll put me on that court.
Q. When will you be buying your dress?
LAURA ROBSON: I don't know. I'll go have a look everywhere.
Q. Oxford Street?
LAURA ROBSON: I think we'll have a really good look around all the places to find one.
Q. How would you describe your dress sense, your style?
LAURA ROBSON: I'm looking for something a bit simple. I remember last year Jankovic wore a bright pink dress. I don't think I'll be going down that route. Yeah, just something simple, I guess.
Q. Do you have a favorite store?
LAURA ROBSON: I'm quite a big Abercrombie fan, because when I go to America I stack up on that a lot. Just anything like really.
Q. Any particular color maybe?
LAURA ROBSON: I like blue.
Q. Who will you be going to the ball with?
LAURA ROBSON: I don't know.
Q. You haven't got your eye on anybody?
LAURA ROBSON: No. Apart from Safin.
Q. You seem very calm and cool under pressure. Are you feeling it deep down?
LAURA ROBSON: In the big points today I started getting really nervous, especially in the second set. I started playing a lot tighter and my forehand wasn't going as well as I would have hoped.
But that's just what I have to put in the back of my mind really and then keep playing.
Q. Could you tell us about some of your favorite foods and your diet.
LAURA ROBSON: I have to watch what I eat quite a lot with the nutrition. We have a nutritionist at Roehampton who helps me quite a lot, and so I put all the right vitamins and all that in.
Q. Do you have a favorite meal?
LAURA ROBSON: Uhm, I like pizza, but I don't really get to have it that often.
Q. Just a comment on your left-handedness. You seem to be getting quite a few aces, serves in today. Do you feel that's an advantage of a left hand over a right hand, especially on grass?
LAURA ROBSON: I think on grass, because it's a lot easier for me to slice. But I guess my serve is just what I've improved. So aces are kind of normal.
Q. How will it feel for you tomorrow when you walk in through the gates as a finalist? What will that moment mean to you?
LAURA ROBSON: A lot. I mean, it's undescribable (sic), the feeling, with so many people watching. I've got so many supporters, as well. So I'm just going to try to play the best that I can.
End of FastScripts