By Ros Satar
Laura Robson – WTA Rabat R2 Preview
- Won first WTA main draw match since 2013 after beating Moroccan wild-card Ghita Benhadi
- Faces Timea Babos in the second round
RABAT, MORROCO – Former British No. 1 Laura Robson picked up her first WTA main draw win in Morocco and faces in-form Timea Babos in the next round.
Making use of her protected ranking after a frustrating injury lay-off for 17 months with a wrist injury and a stop-start return, and she bowed out in the first rounds of Indian Wells and Miami. She picked up a win last week against Klara Koukalova in the first qualifying round of Stuttgart but struggled to make an impact against Oceane Dodin in the second round.
She will face Babos – and the Hungarian has the slim head to head lead over the Brit, having faced her sic years ago in a $25K in Woking, taken to three sets for the win.
Babos picked up a solid win over Sabine Lisicki in Stuttgart before losing to Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round. Babos plays a strong attacking game, and is a strong force on the clay which looks to be her second best surface.
Robson, at her best, had a solid aggressive game, with a hefty serve backed up with solid groundstrokes from the back of the court, but in her second match in Stuttgart the lack of sharp match practice showed up her movement, which has long been a work in progress.
The reality is this is still a long way back for Robson but her wins over Koukalova and Benhadi are a step in the right direction. The match sharpness will come, and it looks as though Robson is going to be putting the hours in over the clay court season. After her loss in Indian Wells, she could at least report that she was pain-free but there is no doubt it is also going to time for the confidence to come with going for her shots.
Babos is probably a step too far here in Morocco, but it is all a good foundation for a long journey back to the game.
Prediction: Babos in two sets