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Robson ready for WTA Tour bow

sports Updated: Oct 20, 2008 11:41 IST
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Britain's 14-year-old Wimbledon champion Laura Robson makes her WTA Tour bow in Luxembourg this week with warnings about the perils ahead ringing in her ears.

The confident, bubbly Robson became the first home winner of the junior tournament at the All England Club since Annabel Croft in 1984 when she marched to victory in July this year.

But Croft has told the youngster that the women's tour can be an unforgiving and lonely place.

"It will seem like a dream come true. But it's also completely friendless and a really hard world," said Croft who reached a career-high of 21 in the world before retiring in 1988.

"The women take about a month to work out your weaknesses - then hammer them. It's weird, very insular. It occurred to me that I might end up 35 years old, unmarried with no children or friends."

However, Croft told the British media she is optimistic about Robson's chances.

"She appears to have the game and the grit that you need," she said.

Robson, who has been given a wildcard into the tournament which also features Olympic champion Elena Dementieva as well as former world number one Amelie Mauresmo, has been handed a tough draw.

She will start against experienced Czech player Iveta Benesova, the world number 42.

Due to her age, Robson, the world number 550, is limited to the number of tournaments she can enter and, after her Luxembourg outing, she will return to junior competition and prepare for January's Australian Open.

"I now know I can play with the women players but they have got so much more experience," said Robson recently.

"I'm still going to play juniors in the big events next year and just work my way into the women's tour because there is no rush at all."