Robson only thinking ahead

  • Last Updated: August 30 2012, 18:47 BST

Laura Robson pulled off the shock of the tournament with the performance of her life at the US Open and then immediately began focusing on her next match.

Laura Robson: Now faces Li Na

The 18-year-old stunned three-time champion Kim Clijsters 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5) in her first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium and her opponent's last - in singles at least - before the Belgian heads off into retirement.

Robson left the eulogising to others, though, for she has a third-round match to play, her first at a grand slam, and it does not get any easier.

Standing in the teenager's way will be former French Open champion and ninth seed Li Na, who has been one of the form players of the American hard-court stretch and easily defeated Robson's friend and fellow British player Heather Watson in round one.

Robson said: "It's great to be through to the third round of a slam for the first time. I have a really tough match next round against Li Na.

"She's playing extremely well at the moment. She's in great form. She just won Cincinnati. I'm going to have a little chat to Heather and see what her thoughts were seeing as they played each other first round."

Robson has made steady progress since bursting into the public consciousness by winning Junior Wimbledon at the age of 14, which generated huge expectations of the teenager.

Although she has not risen as rapidly as many people might have wished for, she is the youngest player in the top 100 and one of only four teenagers.

Her movement and consistency were much improved yesterday and her serve was a reliable weapon, and Robson said: "I've tried to work on everything.

"I've done quite a bit of tactical stuff recently, which I feel has made more of a difference, but I've also worked very hard on my speed around the court.

"I think that has improved the most in the last year. And I feel confident enough in my movement to run down a lot more balls. I think I'm making the points a bit tougher for my opponents to win just by getting that extra ball back every time."

Robson recently began working with Croatia Davis Cup captain Zeljko Krajan, who is renowned as a tough coach and who guided Russia's Dinara Safina to world number one.

The teenager feels it is too soon to credit the relationship for yesterday's win, saying: "I feel like I have been improving, but I haven't been able to do a full training week with him, so I think it's still very early days."

Robson paid tribute to Clijsters on court afterwards as the Belgian was hailed for her brilliant career.

And Clijsters revealed she will be paying close attention to the progress of her conqueror as Robson sets out to follow in her footsteps.

Clijsters said: "I knew before I stepped out on court that I would have to play well. I've practised with her at Wimbledon. We had a really good practice, and I said to my team as well that she hits the ball so clean.

"I think she moved really well and she anticipated really well. I think obviously physically if she gets better, even more explosive, then I think she's going to be a great player, and someone that I'll be watching.

"As a person, she's always been a girl that's always been really nice and friendly in the locker room. The words that she said on court afterwards were very nice. I got a little bit emotional there. It was very nice to hear those things from another player."