It was at the start of the second set I knew that I just had to play with more consistency and with more percentage
British No.2 Laura Robson says she has always possessed a fighting spirit after coming from a set down to beat world No.8 Petra Kvitova in Melbourne
The sun had long set on the hottest day of the 2013 Australian Open when an exhausted Robson drew on the last of her energy reserves to fire down an un-returnable serve to beat an out-of-sorts Kvitova 2-6, 6-3, 11-9, reaching the third round of the Australian Open.
“I think the turning point of the match, it seems, was when my agent got pooped on by a bird,” Robson joked after the match. “In the first set it was just too up and down. You know, you can't win a set when you're playing five unforced errors compared to every winner. So, you know, it was at the start of the second set I knew that I just had to play with more consistency and with more percentage. That's what I did.”
The Melbourne-born Robson looked down and out when she trailed her Czech opponent 3-0 in the third set but she managed to fight her way back in front of a partisan crowd in Rod Laver Arena.
“Have I always had [a fighting spirit]? I'd like to think so,” said Robson. “Definitely when I played my brother in Monopoly it was ‑‑ all hell broke loose, really. But, yeah, I think some matches you just lose the belief a little bit, but this one I felt like I could always win.”
Robson and compatriot Heather Watson hadn’t yet been born the last time two British women - Jo Durie and Sara Gomer in 1991 - reached the last 32 of a Grand Slam, and it’s now up to Robson to keep British hopes alive when she faces another teenager, Sloane Stephens, after Watson fell to Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round.
“Yeah, she beat me last week in Hobart,” Robson said of Stephens. “It was a pretty close match, but, yeah, I definitely feel like I could play a lot better than I did last week, and it's going to be really tough, for sure. She's in good form at the moment. She's a good mover, good ball striker. It's always going to be a tough match, but yeah, hopefully I can play better than I did today.”