Qualifying didn’t really go too well for Laura Robson at New Haven. She did look like beating Christina McHale when she went up 6-2 5-2 however the Brit did lose from this position. I’ve seen tennis players lose from worse positions before, they aren’t robots they are human after all and all that is in the past now with a new challenge facing her in the opening round of the US Open in world number 110 Elena Vesnina a player who she has never played before and isn’t having a very good year.
Last year Elena reached the third round of the US Open something she only has achieved twice in her career with the first time being in 2009 and a couple of years ago was ranked as high as 21 in the world but with a win/loss record of 12/18 this year on the singles tour then it could be an interesting match. Elena has found a lot of success on the doubles tour ranked within the top 10 winning 11 WTA titles and also won the US Open doubles last year as well as being a runner-up at Wimbledon earlier in the year.
For Laura this is about building confidence, finding her game and building up her ranking again. Laura began last week ranked outside the top 700 in the world and to climb those rankings is tough but a good win or two at one of these major events could see Laura rise at least 200 places. Laura did play well against McHale to get to that position of one game away from the match and did show some very good tennis in New Haven but sadly couldn’t get the win.
Elina is a tough opponent for Robson her backhand is probably her best shot in my opinion. She can generate good power off it whereas the forehand can be a little short when under a little bit of pressure. I wouldn’t say her serve is fantastic it can be got at by Robson off the forehand which is Laura’s main strength as well as her court position as she is very comfortable on the baseline.
Elena may not have had a great year on the singles tour but you don’t get to number three in the world on the doubles if you aren’t good and win a couple of Grand Slams! Elena plays doubles with Ekaterina Makarova who was ranked top 10 on singles not too long ago as well! Elena however isn’t playing doubles with Makarova as Makarova is focusing on singles right now.
It will be an interesting match and a win for Robson would be massive and 10 points may not sound an awful lot but with Laura ranked where she is then it could push her 50 places up the rankings which is fantastic!