Ah, those pesky home town expectations. They peek through no matter how unwanted. Never knowing when enough is enough. You know the ones, where anyone is struck down. No one is immune regardless of age.
Though the inexperienced sure suffer. More than anyone the young are its victims. Never sure how to cope, they are alone. Cancerous thoughts prevailing with despair. Like all, they fear the terrors of failure. Such is life, lessons learnt now are gold mint. Only two ways to go, you sink or swim.
Take Laura Robson, she is a fighter. British, nineteen years of age and such hope. Of British women, best for some time now. And a deep reservoir of potential.
If only the young lady realised this. One day soon, no doubt, she will and watch out. A top ten future awaits this talent. Ground strokes are her modus operandi. They are big, especially that forehand. A left hander to boot, a handy attribute. A demons serve just for variety. But consistency is what makes a pro. Not to mention strong mental fortitude.
That she has not quite taken hold of yet.
For lack of effort Robson does not fail. Fail she has not, long may it continue. Round four beckoned, she accepted with glee. Not before being leaden by Wimbledon. All those eyes, waiting, wishing and wanting. It must be purgatory for one so young. Wanting to please and wanting to prevail. Life could never be that simplistic though. Of course there is a foe to contend with. Then you have those home town expectations. Importantly, one's mind needs to triumph.
She struggles but struggles courageously.
Rounds two and three, her nerves invaded thee. She entered round two a strong favourite. A slow start against a qualifier. She battled, overcame and did not blame. The tightest of first sets, the next a romp. Slow to start, eventually she conquered. She is learning how to fight, come what may.
Round three and up against a strong Kiwi. Erakovic by name, she has got game. The kiwi formed a crush on the first set. Winning six to one, odds with underdog. Pressure, the pressure, oh mighty pressure. First it was one and then the other one. Tireless in its ulterior motives. Let it pass and leave innocence alone. In the end one mastered its artistry. One set down and the dream appeared over. Last it did not though as the Brit fought back. Robson rallied and her class prevailed. Three sets needed but a win is a win.
A work in progress, yet too near to fear. There will be ups and there will be some downs. But she is a fighter, she finds a way.
Which is fortunate because life gets tougher. Today she attempts to beat Kaia Kanepi. An unseeded opponent, such a chance.
Now is the hour, a quarterfinal waits.