Wimbledon: Robson and Golding both draw blanks
It was not the best of omens for the big one on semi-final Friday.
One by one, the young gun Britons were shot down out on Court 12, leaving a domestic blank on the junior finals front at SW19 for this year.
First Oliver Golding, the child actor turned tennis wannabe, fluffed his lines in the penultimate stage of the boys' singles, losing 6-2, 6-2 to Aussie Ben Mitchell. Then came Laura Robson in the girls' semis. Surely the 2008 champion would save the day for the budding young Britons? Fat chance. She was beaten in straight sets, too, 7-5, 7-6 by Sachie Ishizu of Japan.
Having appeared on the small screen alongside such luminaries as Christopher Lee and Timothy Spall, young Golding possesses the ability to do a mean impression of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal. Vocally, that is. With racket in hand, the 16-year-old from Richmond still has some way to go.
The form that saw off the No 1 seed Jason Kubler and Argentine Renzo Oliver in the previous two rounds proved frustratingly elusive. Against a solid, assured 17-year-old opponent from Australia's Gold Coast, Golding was broken twice in the first set and twice in the second. "I think I maybe tried a little bit too hard," he said. "I was trying to hit the ball too hard and just snatched at it a little bit."
Robson lost her serve three times en route to a 7-5 defeat in the opening set. The 16-year-old also struggled to cope with the all-round game of her opponent, who was a picture of composure. In stark contrast, Robson kept looking towards her coach and family on the sidelines. After spurning two set points and suffering three more service breaks, her fate was sealed in the second set tie-break. She lost it 7-5, and with it the match.