Laura Robson has praised the ever-growing emergence of British female talent on the courts after a strong summer of tennis writes Megan Armitage.
In the wake of Katie Swan beating fellow Brit Jodie Burrage in the ITF USA 35A final, the former world number 27 is pleased to see friendly competition growing on court at international level.
Swan took the title in a tense three set match, winning 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in a rare occurrence of two British females playing each other in an ITF final.
Robson said: "Jodie and Katie Swan are in the final of a challenger in the states which is the first time in a couple of years that two Brits have been in a final against each other at that level.
"They push each other along and want to be the number one Brit now.
"Yes, Emma's a lot further ahead of them in terms of ranking but the level is definitely there and they're all such great ball strikers and movers around the court and fantastic attitude.
"Just having that team vibe at all the tournaments now is helping so much.
It was so fun to bring a surprise to Warm Up with @VodafoneUK. Obviously I had to join in with a few games along the way too! 🏆 A brilliant time with the #PlayYourWayToWimbledon hopefuls. #FeelTheConnection #Ad pic.twitter.com/VfFxY6dvSB
— Laura Robson (@laurarobson5) August 7, 2022
"They all hang out off court and get dinners together."
Robson had a similar friendship with British number three Heather Watson when they were younger but is thrilled to have seen an increase in professionals over recent years.
She said: "It's fantastic. When we were growing up it was basically just us two and then Joanna Konta was around as well but didn't really start playing in the UK until older.
"We were talking about it just a couple of months ago just how nice it is for all the youngsters to have five or six other girls to compete with, to train with and to progress together.
"There's a real competitive vibe in a good way, it pushes you along."
Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart both had a stellar performance at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships, coming in as wildcards and reaching the third and second round respectively.
Boulter had a hair-raising centre-court victory over Karolina Pliskova at SW19 but was unable to reach the fourth round.
Robson was pleased to see British talent shining on British soil at the Championships and with hopes that it will only continue to thrive.
She said: "I was so impressed with Katie Boulter at Wimbledon and Harriet and it was so nice for me to be working as the pundit commentator and just beaming every time the Brits went well.
"We don't often have it but it seems to be more of a regular thing now."
Play Your Way to Wimbledon, powered by Vodafone, is a junior tournament that gives players an opportunity to follow in their heroes’ footsteps and compete on the grass courts at Wimbledon. The All England Club and LTA are proud to partner with Vodafone to relaunch and expand the largest individual mass participation tennis competition in the UK – for more information visit wimbledon.com