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Robson upsets Kvitova in Aussie Open
Sam Lienert
10:28 AEST Fri Jan 18 2013

Melbourne-born English teenager Laura Robson has sprung one of the upsets of the Australian Open, ousting 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in an absorbing three-hour second-round match at Melbourne Park.

The deciding set lasted 94 minutes as Robson overcame hot conditions, a slow start and a considerably more experienced opponent to win 2-6 6-3 11-9 in the early hours of Friday morning.

Robson served for the match twice, initially failing to clinch it at 6-5 before steeling herself to serve it out to love when she finally got another chance eight games later.

The 18-year-old, who moved to Britain at six years of age, fell a set down after a nervous start then trailed 3-0 in the deciding set before steeling herself for her stunning comeback.

It was the second time in as many grand slam events Robson has produced a giant-killing performance in the second round.

At last year's US Open she beat Kim Clijsters in the retiring Belgian champion's final singles match on her way to becoming the first British woman in 21 years to reach the last 16 at a grand slam event.

Thursday's win made it just the second time Robson, who turns 19 on Monday and was named the WTA's 2012 newcomer of the year, reached the third round of a major.

Kvitova joined Italian seventh seed Sara Errani, who fell to Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening round, and Australia's ninth seed Samantha Stosur, who lost to China's Zheng Jie in the second round, as the highest seeds ousted so far.

While the first two sets were error-strewn, with Kvitova delivering 18 double-faults for the match and Robson 12 among a sea of unforced errors, the level of play climbed considerably as the deciding set wore on.

Robson produced a superb forehand return winner to seal the decisive break then surged home in the final game.

Robson said she had initially found it hard to come to terms with fellow left-hander Kvitova's serve but grew in confidence as she got used to it.

She thanked the Rod Laver Arena crowd, who were mostly on her side, for sticking around after a men's match involving Roger Federer that was more than an hour shorter.

"I'm amazed that so many people stayed to watch, so thankyou," she said.

"I thought you were going to leave after Federer.

Her next opponent is another teenager, American 19-year-old 29th seed Sloane Stephens.


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