Simon Reed

Hopman Cup good for Robson

Simon Reed

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Laura Robson's graph is moving in the right direction. I saw her first match and she looked off the pace and nervous when it mattered and in the mixed doubles, it was calamitous to be honest.

But match by match she's progressed which is probably endorsing the decision to go down there and play.

It's a great step up for her to be on a big stage, playing consistently in front of big, noisy crowds, and a big atmosphere alongside a big star in Andy Murray.

It can only help. There are still things to work on; for me she's still a long way from being a threat at the top level, but she's 15 years of age and has already proved she's as good as anyone in the juniors.

It's just a question of time and we'll find out whether she can bridge the gap. She's certainly got weapons - her forehand is terrific, her back-court play good and her serve's got potential. It does look vulnerable but the motion is essentially good and as she develops muscle she can get more torque into it and it could become a real weapon.

At the moment it seems that in crucial situations it's hardly that. But this week is a very good career move.

I'm very impressed with the way she copes with the public spotlight. She's sees it as fun - everything brushes off her and that's something that cannot be trained in her. She's got people around her that have looked after some of the very best players in the world so that's good but a lot of it is instinctive and she's got that skill.

Listening to her talking after her first match and after the mixed doubles she was laughing and making jokes - it hadn't got to her. I'm relieved she's got the ability to brush that pressure off.

It's good that she's got that pressure though. As long as it's not a scarring process, and I don't believe this is, then to have this pressure early in her life is a really good thing. She's got a good view about what's happening to her. There was a gradual process for Murray in terms of attention, but with Robson it 's been more sudden.

On-court its still seems that in key situations she suffers a little bit but as we've already mentioned she's very young and that can easily be fixed.

She may well develop weapons that mean the pressure isn't on her regularly. It's easy to forget her age - I was surprised when they called her 15, I thought she was 16 already.

This is an important year for her; she's got to find her feet on the Tour. She doesn't have to make a real dent or move into a specific ranking but as long as she finds her feet and doesn't feel lost, and I don't think she will, then it's important but not a make-or-break year.

Looking forward - I see her as a player comfortably in the top 100. How far into the top hundred she goes, we'll have to wait and see. There's certainly the potential there for a lot better.

What I do love is the humour she brings and how she doesn't get down on herself. You get the feeling that she's really enjoying what's happening around her.

Murray has been a great boost in that regard. It's been a terrific partnership and they've excelled, not only in getting to the final but also the way they've got there.

Murray gets a bad press but he's handled her really well. I'm impressed and I think she's impressed to.

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