Friday, June 25, 2010

Robson to play in Wimbledon junior competition

Britain's Laura Robson, who went out in the first round in Wimbledon singles, doubles and mixed doubles, is using a wild card to play in the junior Wimbledon Championships. Robson won the event in 2008, when she defeated Noppowan Lertcheewakarn in the final.

Robson, who is seeded 8th, will play Risa Ozaki of Japan in the first round. The top seed this year is Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Seeded fourth is Karolina Pliskova, who defeated Robson in the Australian Open junior girls final.


TennisAce said...

Am I the only one who has a problem with Robson flitting between the senior tour and the juniors? You cannot tell me that there was not a more deserving junior player out there who could have used this WC to enter the junior draw at Wimbledon?

Robson got a WC to the women's main draw, WC to the mixed doubles main draw and now she gets a WC to the junior singles girls draw. Is she going to be the next Alex Bogdanovic where they keep giving him WCs until they are too embarassed to give him anymore.

Kim Clijsters was right. They are too pampered. If they had to qualify for these spots, perhaps it would make them work a bit harder.

Diane said...

It isn't just Robson, Karen. Several players go back and forth between juniors and the tour. Coco Vandeweghe won the junor U.S. Open championship after she went out to Jelena Jankovic in the first round of the main draw.

Should it be allowed? I think so, but maybe only up to a certain age. I don't what that age would be, but some type of arbitrary cut-off makes sense to me.

TennisAce said...

I agree Diane. I think the juniors are at a terrible disadvantage having to play someone who is eligible to be playing on both Tours. I think the ITF and the WTA should really do something about it.

Colette Lewis said...

With the WTA's restrictions, it's very difficult for a promising young player to stay match tough if they don't play junior tournaments, especially junior slams, where the competition is at a very high level. The year she turns 18 is the last year a girl can play ITF junior events, and at that point she can play unlimited professional level events.

I wrote about this for the NYT blog last year at the US Open. That story is here.

As for more "deserving" wild cards, I've always believed that a wild card is a gift. Period. Robson's WTA ranking would have earned her a spot in the junior draw without a wild card, had she entered prior to the deadline, but I'm certain she did not enter because she had hoped to go farther in the first week. Doing it the way she did actually allowed a girl with a legitimate junior ranking have that spot.

One last note, Robson actually lost in the first round of women's doubles too.

Diane said...

I consider the wild card a gift, too, Colette, a matter I've written about in the past. I don't have an issue with that at all. My issue is that I can't help but wonder how good it is for these players to have one foot in juniors and one foot in the tour. I suppose I would like to see a younger age limit.

Anonymous said...

Robson is only playing in the juniors for yet more publicity, her people want her name in the papers and media for another week.
She shouldn't be allowed to 'fall back' on the juniors just because she lost every other match she played.