Forget Henman Hill, it's now Robson Ridge

We had been waiting 24 long years for a British triumph at Wimbledon, and finally a strong serve from 14-year-old Laura Robson set the magical moment in motion.

The return from her Thai opponent hung tantalising in the air for what seemed like an eternity, then dropped on the same side to spark wild celebrations on a packed No1 Court.

Laura Robson

Head girl: Britain's Laura Robson holds her trophy aloft after winning the girl's singles final at Wimbledon

Laura's sizzling forehand and explosive serve will forever be known as Robson Rockets since they helped her to overcome an adversary almost two years older and far more experienced.

As for Henman Hill, you can forget any future references to Murray Mount. It has now been christened Robson Ridge by the tennis fanatics in SW19 - and could stay that way for the next decade or two.

It may only have been Junior Wimbledon that Londoner Robson won, but when a nation has not laid its hands on any kind of singles trophy from the All England club for almost a quarter of a century, that is still the sort of reward that can wipe away all those previous disappointments.

In her moment of victory after just over an hour and a half of dramatic exchanges, Robson smiled at her family and almost seemed to be laughing in disbelief at what she had achieved.

Her father, Andrew, put his fingers in his mouth and whistled wildly; her mother, Kathy, cheered enthusiastically before congratulating the youngster's coach, Martijn Blok, and then came the sight so many sports fans here had yearned to witness.

The Union Flag was draped on the trophy table and Ann Jones - Wimbledon winner back in 1969 - walked out proudly to present Robson with the silverware she so richly deserved.

As we watched her hold the trophy aloft, you could sense the crowd already anticipating next year, when she will receive a wild card entry into the main event - the women's singles - where she will pit her wits against the likes of yesterday's ladies' winner, Venus Williams. It almost seemed too much for her mother to take in as she tried to put words to what her child had just achieved.

'It's a lonely place, being out on a tennis court, but she has shown the right spirit,' she said.

'Laura is just a 14-year-old girl, that's the way we see her, and we want to keep it simple.

'I'm so proud of her, as I am proud of all my children. Laura has done this by working hard and playing tournaments since she was seven.

'How will we celebrate? I think my husband will take me out for a meal. I don't know if Laura will want to be seen with us, but if she does we could take her to Pizza Hut or somewhere like that. She does like pizza.'

With the expectation of a nation on her shoulders, there were times when it seemed that Robson was about to choke.

She raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, only to stutter as her opponent Noppawan Lertcheewakarn stormed back to 3-3.

Somehow, Robson found fresh momentum, largely with the help of that punishing serve and forehand, to take the set without conceding another game.

But then, with the finishing tape in sight, she squandered a break at 3-2 and the chanting of her name suddenly receded.

At that point it was the Thai girl whose fighting spirit began to shine through, and Robson's composure appeared to have been destroyed.

She threw her racket to the ground, screamed like the child she is, and berated herself with gestures and words. In that mental state, there was nothing Robson could do to prevent her opponent from drawing level with her own 6-3 success.

But with England's sporting fate in the balance, the teenager found the inner strength to play her best tennis when it really mattered.

She went 2-0 ahead in the decider and when she was broken she simply dismantled Lertcheewakarn's serve again. This time the momentum was irresistible and an unforgettable victory was sealed.

Not since Annabel Croft took the Junior Wimbledon title in 1984 has the crowd been able to cheer like this, despite doubles triumphs such as Jamie Murray's alongside Jelena Jankovic last year.

Now, at last, Britain has a tennis heroine who can deliver the goods all the way to the end of the second week. Robson's Ridge will be packed again next year when she really hits the big time.

And make no mistake, after yesterday's awesome display she will be more than ready.

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