There was great happiness and lots of sadness on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday, when the up and coming British eighteen year old, Laura Robson, took out one of her idols, Kim Clijsters in straight sets 7-6 (4) 7-6 (5) to make it to the third round of the 2012 US Open. Clijsters had announced that this tournament would definitely be her swansong and that she would retire (for the second time) after the tournament.
Surprisingly, it was Robson who had the loudest support from the notoriously vocal spectators. She has a great leftie serve and a glorious forehand – and she put both to good use after overcoming the first two nervous games to break back to 2-2. The Belgian 4 time Grand Slam champion stepped on the accelerator once more to take a 5-2 lead just before Robson started hitting some amazing winners that helped her to claw her way back to 5-5. The Brit looked like she has got nerves of steel and not only did she save three set points en route to the tiebreak, she kept her composure in the ‘breaker’, taking it 7-4.
The second set saw the players go toe to toe with some of the best tennis seen in the tournament. Robson earned herself two matchpoints on Clijsters’ serve when 6-5 and 40-15 up, but the Belgian showed some skills worthy of a grand champion as she saved both of them with two winners, settin up another tiebreak in front of the New York crowd. Unfortunately for Clijsters, her great tennis career was meant to end here on the center court at Flushing Meadows as Robson captured the ‘breaker’ 7-5. Robson next takes on Na Li, who took out Casey Dellacqua 6-4 6-4.
Marion Bartoli made hard work of her match against Romina Oprandi, winning the first set easily 6-2, but she really lost her focus in the second, letting Oprandi take it 6-1. The third set saw both players committed to their game with much better rallies and better shot making. Bartoli eventually prevailed after sealing it 7-5.
The twenty fourth seeded Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, met Pauline Parmentier of France, 90 in the WTA rankings, in their second round match. The French player advanced into the third round with a straight sets 7-6 6-3 victory. She will play Petra Kvitova next, who overcame Alize Cornet 6-4 6-3.