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June 24, 2011

Laura Robson


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your overriding emotions after the singles match? Are you proud and encouraged by pushing her so close or whether it's ultimately disappointment?
LAURA ROBSON: Uhm, I'm definitely really, really disappointed. You know, I even thought I could have played better at some points, especially the big points. I think that's where her experience definitely showed.
I mean, every time she sort of stepped up a little bit. And, you know, it's a good learning experience for me. It's good to know that I can definitely play sort of just as well as the top girls.

Q. She said one of the key stages in your development will be to go back to the challenger circuit and win those tight games there. Is that difficult to do after having played on a stage like today?
LAURA ROBSON: Well, today, you know, it definitely helps because we had a really big crowd, and I had lots of support. You know, I had all my family there and stuff.
So, you know, I think it's really easy to play well on a day like this where you've got a big stage, you're playing against a top-10 player, especially someone like Maria. And so it's going to be hard going back to the lower tournaments, but it's something that you've got to do to earn the right to play on such a big court again.

Q. Was there anything about her game that surprised you in terms of the pace of the ball or what there was on the ball?
LAURA ROBSON: You know, not really. I felt quite comfortable, uhm, with the pace that she was hitting. It definitely wasn't overwhelming.
In the second set, she started serving a lot better, and I think that's what made the big difference.

Q. What do you feel about Sharapova's grunting? We had a gruntometer in the court.
LAURA ROBSON: Is that a thing?

Q. It is if you work for The Sun. She was the loudest she's ever been. Does it put you off your game? Do you find it distracting?
LAURA ROBSON: Absolutely not. You know, you hear it sort of for the first game or two, but then after, you're just really focused on the point. I didn't even notice, to be honest.

Q. You've now played some pretty big players. How did Sharapova compare to the other big names you've played?
LAURA ROBSON: You know, they're two different players. Francesca plays sort of a different type of game, like a fair bit more spin, and she mixes it up a lot; while Maria, you know, she is really, really aggressive.
So it's different comparing the two. But, you know, they're definitely really, really good.

Q. Does meeting lots of different players like that help when you go back down to a lower level?
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, it does. You know, in the challenger level you get a load of different players. You know, recently I played someone who was serve and volleying all the time. It's just different playing all these people.
But you've got to just set yourself a new game plan for every match, see how it goes.

Q. What will your next singles tournament be?
LAURA ROBSON: You know what? I haven't even thought of it. At the moment, I'm still in doubles here, so I'm going to focus on that tomorrow.

Q. Did Maria speak to you afterwards or have any words of encouragement?
LAURA ROBSON: No, I didn't speak to her, no. She said, you know, like, Good match, and stuff at the net. That was it. I wouldn't expect anything else.

Q. Did nerves play a part today?
LAURA ROBSON: You know, I didn't really feel like I was nervous, especially in the beginning. You know, I started really well. I started aggressively. I thought I kept that up for the most part of the match.
But I think just experience helped her play the big points better.

Q. In terms of learning, how quickly can you learn? If you were to play her again tomorrow, would you have already learnt a lot of lessons from today that you could put into practice tomorrow?
LAURA ROBSON: Yeah, definitely. You'd have a lot more idea of how to play her and stuff. But it would be the same for her. Like I'm sure she wouldn't play exactly the same as she did today.

Q. What areas do you feel your game needs to improve in and what are you going to start working on specifically in the coming months?
LAURA ROBSON: Uhm, I feel like I can kind of improve on everything. You know, there wasn't one specific shot today that I feel let me down.
If I'm really going to get very specific, I'd say my first serve a little bit was not consistent enough in the second set, and that allowed her to get into my service games a lot more.
But it's not a huge issue. It's not something that let me down in the first round.

Q. What were you thinking when it was 4-1 in the first? Were you a bit surprised to be there or were you anticipating her coming back?
LAURA ROBSON: I definitely wasn't surprised to be there, because I was playing really well and, you know, I was sticking to my game plan a lot, like trying to open up the court and everything.
You know, she's known for being one of the best fighters on tour. She absolutely never, ever gives in. So I was always expecting her to be really, really tough.
So I just tried to stick with my game plan, play point by point.

Q. I recall last year I think you said you didn't get your hands on your prize money at all. A year on, has that changed?

Q. You got a raise in your pocket money?
LAURA ROBSON: No (smiling). Sadly not.
If anyone wants to talk to my dad about that, that's fine with me.

Q. Last year you had just finished your GCSEs. Are you trying to combine doing the tennis full-time and A levels, or are you going to focus on the tennis at the moment?
LAURA ROBSON: Well, I'm still doing school. But, you know, at the moment it's really hard to balance the two. Actually I don't want to say it helped, but it gave me a lot more time when I was injured to work on all my schoolwork and kind of get sort of back up to date.

Q. Are you going to take A levels next year? Is that the plan?
LAURA ROBSON: Yes, that's the plan.

Q. Which ones are you hoping to take?
LAURA ROBSON: Mainly the one I'm thinking of now is English.

Q. Can you explain the situation behind your parting with Patrick? And also, what do you plan to do now with your coaching situation?
LAURA ROBSON: Uhm, well, you know, with Patrick, I thought it was kind of just time for a change. Like I was living in Paris basically. I wanted to be home a little bit more. And, you know, it wasn't like a huge disagreement or anything. We basically just decided that it was a good decision for me to come back home and to, you know, start working with a few new people and see how it goes from there.
And I think from where I was before the tournament started, I've definitely improved. And I even feel like I've improved since my first round. I played better today than I did then.
For the future, you know, I'm not really sure how it's gonna go. I haven't really thought about it yet. But for the moment I'm happy with the situation I have now.

Q. How much of that is confidence in yourself?
LAURA ROBSON: Well, you know, I feel like I'm playing well and I feel happy the way things are going. I feel happy to be at home a little bit. I think that's definitely showing on court a bit more.

Q. Were you homesick in Paris? Did that have an effect, not seeing your siblings, mum and dad?
LAURA ROBSON: My sister has lived in Australia since she was 18. She's 26 now. I haven't seen that much of her over the years. But I'm sort of used to it. My brother started at Uni last year. I'm used to not seeing my brother and sister, but mostly I just miss my dogs.

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