British interest in ladies draw fizzles out as Robson departs Eastbourne

Laura Robson loses to Lucie Safarova At Devonshire Park on Wednesday   pictured: Jane Stokes
Laura Robson loses to Lucie Safarova At Devonshire Park on Wednesday pictured: Jane Stokes

Any hopes of a British woman taking the AEGON International crown were destroyed after Laura Robson became the second and final Brit to fall on day four of the tournament.

Robson had become the last British female standing after Heather Watson lost her second-round contest to seventh seed Lucie Safarova on Centre Court this morning.

With the weight of British expectation on her shoulders, Robson stepped onto Court One looking to overcome Ekaterina Makarova to progress to the quarter-finals.

Makarova already had one creditable feather in her cap after knocking out reigning Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova in the opening round.

Meanwhile, the British number four came back from one set down in her first-round meeting with Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez to ensure that she too went into today’s match on a confidence high.

The match was close, closer than the 90-rank difference would have suggested. Robson, ranked 111 in the world, put up a good fight against Safarova in the first set, losing it by just one break of serve.

The second set seemed to heading for a tie-break as whispers began circulating around the audience that maybe Robson could make another brave comeback.

However, today it was not to be as world number 21 Safarova stepped up for one final push to break Robson’s serve when the score stood at 5-5.

It meant the Czech would then be serving for the match to end qualifier Robson’s hopes of a place in the final eight, which she duly did.

Speaking after her disappointing defeat, Robson said, “I thought I played well but she played extremely well.

“She’s definitely suited to the grass courts and it was really tough for me to get into her service games.

“From where I was a few months ago, this a big improvement already and I’m just focussing on staying injury free and working hard.”