Laura Robson cool ahead of Petra Kvitova match at Australian Open

Laura Robson, whose career began in a blaze as a Wimbledon starlet four years ago, is becoming accustomed to the big stage.

After seeing off Kim Clijsters in the Arthur Ashe cauldron at Flushing Meadows in the Belgian's farewell appearance four months ago, she has been assigned the Rod Laver Arena for her second-round match against the eighth seed and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Thursday.

Following Roger Federer in the second night match (at about 10.30am GMT) does not bother her, either. "That's pretty cool," she said, after seeing the schedule. It will be cool, literally, as well, given the near-century temperatures forecast during the day.

"Sure I'm excited. It's definitely going to be a tough match, but I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully people will stick around and not leave after Federer [who plays Nikolay Davydenko].

"I love big occasions. I think it is easy to play on a big court with a big crowd when you have nothing to lose. It is enjoyable.

"I have never played a night match [on the main court] before. I was supposed to play a doubles night match with Sally Peers here, second on after Tsonga-Djokovic, and they took so long so they moved us the Margaret Court Arena, because I had a junior match next morning at 10am.

Her junior days are behind her, as she makes serious noise on the full circuit. And she could hardly feel more at home than in the city where she was born, leaving for the UK with her parents when she was six.

"I have family who have flown in from Perth," she said, "but I treat it like every other tournament. I do enjoy it here because it is a nice place.

My sister lives here but, no, I don't get recognised in the street. I prefer to keep a low profile so hopefully that won't change.

"I have had night matches at smaller tournaments. At Guangzhou I played at 8pm a few times. I think it will be a bit later here because there is the men's match before me."

Kvitova has struggled a little here, partly because of her lingering asthma and she complained of dizziness during her first-round win over Francesca Schiavone.

Robson was in fine touch defeating the American Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-3 in the first round and, if Kvitova is at all hampered by her condition, Robson has a wonderful chance to advance to the third round and a possible match against another highly rated young American, Sloane Stephens, who beat her in Tasmania last week.

Powered by article was written by Kevin Mitchell in Melbourne, for on Wednesday 16th January 2013 22.31 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © Bruno Girin