Wimbledon 2011: Laura Robson wins but Heather Watson eliminated

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport at Wimbledon

Britain's Laura Robson beat Angelique Kerber in round one of Wimbledon to post her maiden Grand Slam victory and set up a meeting with Maria Sharapova.

Robson, 17, overcame the 77th-ranked German 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in 128 minutes and will play fifth seed Sharapova third on Court One on Thursday.

But an injury-stricken Heather Watson lost her first-round match 2-6 6-4 6-4 against Mathilde Johansson of France.

Anne Keothavong fell 6-2 6-1 to Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova in round two.

However, following wins for Keothavong and Elena Baltacha on Tuesday, Robson's progress meant three British women reached the second round of Wimbledon for the first time since 2004.

"I'm so happy! Absolutely amaaaazing atmosphere on court," she wrote on social networking site Twitterexternal-link. "Thank you all! Can't wait to play Sharapova tomorrow!"

Robson has missed much of the season through injury and had to make significant changes to her game because of a major growth spurt since she lifted the girls' title at SW19 in 2008.

She appeared in the main draw for the first time aged 15 in 2009, losing to Daniela Hantuchova in three sets, and succumbed to Jelena Jankovic in 2010.

But it was third time lucky for Robson against Kerber, although in truth luck played no part in her superb come-from-behind triumph.

Kerber broke serve in game three of the first set and, although a Robson managed to hit back for 4-4, another strike in game 10 put the German in command.

The second was going with serve until Robson, who made 14 unforced errors to her opponent's two in the opener, saw her delivery breached for 4-5.

Yet Kerber failed to serve out the match as Robson unleashed one of numerous forehand winners and carried her momentum into the tie-break to force a decider.

The start of the third set was one-way traffic, Robson breaking twice for a 4-0 lead before Kerber got one of them back and took a medical time-out for a shoulder problem.

She came out with a spring in her step and managed to draw level, only for 254th-ranked Robson to break again with another forehand winner for 5-4 and hold to love for the match.

"I felt I really played well on the big points and that's what made the difference," Robson, who split with coach Patrick Mouratoglou in the week before Wimbledon, said in her post-match press conference.

"I always knew I could play really well but this year I've been injured quite a lot. Now I'm feeling good and really looking forward to playing Sharapova.

"I'm going to be on Court One playing against Sharapova so I think that's pretty special. Hopefully I can play as well as I know I can."

There was no such joy for Watson as a right elbow problem contributed to her defeat by Johansson.

"I've never felt anything like this before," said the tearful 19-year-old. "I really wanted to win and I thought I had the match. I'm just asking myself now, 'Why me?'.

"Why couldn't it [the injury] have happened in another tournament? Why this one? This was the hardest defeat of my professional career because it was a great opportunity for me.

"I know how to play tennis. This is what I prepare for. This is why I play tennis every day, so I should be ready. I feel like I should be winning these matches. That's why I'm so annoyed."

The Guernsey right-hander showed magnificent tenacity to stave off seven break points in her opening service game to hold for 1-1.

On a couple of occasions she glanced to her support team in the stands and complained "I'm not hitting it", but after a magical backhand lob on the first point of game four she grew in confidence.

Watson began striking the ball with more accuracy and her improvement was rewarded with a break to 15 in game five when Johansson sent a backhand wide.

The 106th-ranked wildcard followed it up with a powerful service hold and a second break for 5-2 before serving out the opener and drawing a huge ovation from the crowd on a near-capacity Court Three.

Johansson, ranked 70th, came out strongly in the second set and managed to break to love with a winning forehand return for 4-2 as Watson grimaced and clenched her arm.

A medical time-out was called and the British number two needed heavy strapping to her elbow.

"I just felt my elbow go on a serve," added the British number two. "It was something in the middle. I didn't want to serve too hard after because I had to be careful.

"It didn't help. It was frustrating and I thought I lost my concentration a bit."

She was soon having particular problems on her backhand side and, despite overturning that break and another, Johansson held her nerve to level the match.

Watson raced 2-0 in front to put herself on course for victory but Johansson recovered the situation and then broke to 15.

Although Watson replied and came through to love in game eight, she could not repeat the trick when serving to stay in the contest and netted a forehand on Johansson's fourth match point.

Keothavong, aiming to reach round three for the first time, experienced a far more comprehensive defeat, winning only three games against 2010 semi-finalist Kvitova.

The British number three, likely to enter re-enter the top 100 after Wimbledon, struggled to cope with her opponent's brutal groundstrokes.

Kvitova broke serve on three occasions in both the first and second sets, and will next face 29th seed Roberta Vinci.

In the women's doubles, Naomi Broady and Emily Webley-Smith lost 6-3 6-4 to Renata Voracova and Galina Voskoboeva.

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