Robson serves up victory in Sony Open Italian job
Laura Robson came through an unpredictable collision with Camila Giorgi to advance to the second round of the Sony Open on Wednesday.
Robson, ranked 43 in the world, was facing a player who had not won a WTA match this year, yet she was given more than the odd problem by Giorgi, the world No. 85. In the end the Brit advanced 6-2 4-6 6-3, and will meet 36-ranked Alize Cornet in the next stage.
Lacking confidence after three straight first-round losses, Robson entered the match with a poor 3-6 record in 2013. And there was relatively little substance behind her fragile serve once again in a match that yielded 21 double-faults and 14 breaks in 27 games.
Things started well for Robson, penetrating Giorgi's serve at the first time of asking for a 2-0 lead. She gifted the advantage straight back, but then moved to 15-40 in Giorgi's next service game to establish a 3-1 cushion.
This time Robson held for 4-1 and then broke for a third consecutive time to serve for the set. The Brit was delayed when Giorgi pulled back to 5-2, but Robson completed a clean sweep of service breaks to take the set in 29 minutes.
More of the same appeared to be coming in the second as, after both players exchanged breaks for 1-1, Robson held for 2-1. However, the 12th game saw Giorgi hold for the first time - at the sixth time of asking - and it appeared to boost her as Robson was forced to save three break points en route to 3-3.
She crumbled in the next as Giorgi broke for 4-3, and that was enough for the 21-year-old Italian to close out the set out and level the match.
Once again there was an exchange of service breaks at the start of the third, two for each player, before Robson had to save a string of threats to her serve at 3-3. She managed to hold and then turn the heat on her rival, moving to 5-3 before closing out the match in a shade over two hours.