British No.1 Laura Robson lost 6-2, 6-2 to American Serena Williams in the second round of the Italian Open.
The 19- year- old Wimbledon- based British champion proceeded to the second round after knocking out Venus Williams in Monday’s first round clash, to set up her first ever match with the world number 1 Serena. The coachless Robson impressed with some superb winners but, unlike Williams, was vulnerable on the serve game and made eight double faults.
The defeat deflated Robson’s hopes of being among the 32 seeds at this month’s French open.
Williams had warm words for Robson after winning as both players met at the net. However, it took the American one hour fifteen minutes to wrap up the game but not without the Londoner pulling her inconsequential stunts too.
In the first game of the match, Robson’s firepower off the ground helped her to a break, a cross- court forehand and a backhand down the line as the 31- year- old was left stranded, but did respond immediately in her own stride.
Robson has had an impressive career record this year but not without its ups and downs as expected of any upcoming player. The serve has been an issue for her as she has risen to a career high 38 in the world this year but also lost six times in the first round, and she was broken twice more as the opening set slipped away.
At the start of the second, Robson summoned the courage to get back in the game but Williams continued dazzling from her lethal forehand and facing two break points in game five, showed her class with an ace and a heavy backhand.
Williams wouldn’t lose another game as Robson double faulted on break points, match points and was broken twice more.
Responding after the match, the British No1 said: “I felt I had a couple of chances that I didn’t take, especially on those break points. But in a way you expect her to hit an unbelievable shot all the time and when she doesn’t you’re not ready for it. But there is definitely a lot of things I can take from it.”
Robson parted ways with Coach Zeljko Krajan earlier this month.
Serena will play either Melanie Oudin or Dominika Cibulkova in round three.
On a busy day at the Fora Italico Court Cenrale, Simona Halep of Romania upset World No 4 Radwanska 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-2. Another shock defeat was inflicted on No. 10 seeded Caroline Wozniaki in her third straight defeat to Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). And Ursula Radwanska defeated 15th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.