Friday 23 March 2018

Tennis star's mum missed opening Wimbledon win because she couldn't get dog-sitter

Great Britain's Laura Robson celebrates defeating Russia's Maria Kirilenko
Great Britain's Laura Robson celebrates defeating Russia's Maria Kirilenko

Katie Hodge and Ellen Branagh

Laura Robson's mother missed her opening Wimbledon clash because she was unable to get a dog-sitter.

But the teenage tennis star was supported by her older brother Nicholas, 21, who has been working at the Championships during his holidays.


The Durham University student is employed as a court attendant and is tasked with dragging the covers over the All England Club lawns between play.


Australia-born Robson, who sailed through the first round today, said her mother Kathy kept in regular contact over the phone while she looked after the black labradors, Ella and Kiri.


"I haven't spoken to her on the phone but I've texted her," Robson said after her victory.


"She always texts me back during the matches, as well. So when I get off the court, I've got like eight messages to read, generally about catching the ball toss.


"She's obviously pretty excited. But I've got the rest of my family here. All my relatives are watching in Australia. So, yeah, they're very happy."


Robson, 19, who grew up just a five-minute walk from the All England Club, said her brother was released from his duties to watch her play from the sidelines.


The pair were seen punching fists as she left Court 1 after defeating 10th seed Maria Kirilenko.


"He's been working here since the first year I played," she said later.


"They're nice enough to let him off for a couple hours when I'm playing. I guess it's nice.


"It's a bit weird seeing him, like, in his outfit sitting on the side of the court rather than up in the box."


The British no 1 recently moved into a flat in Putney after her parents moved to Greece with the dogs.


Earlier this month she said that her life had become quite lonely without them.

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