Laura Robson finally gave herself reason to afford herself a small smile at Wimbledon after sealing victory in the women’s doubles first round alongside Jocelyn Rae.
After defeat in the opening round of the women’s singles, emotions were high for Robson, who conceded she had let herself down with an individual performance that lasted just 66 minutes.
She was back on court, this time with a little accompanying support, as she and close friend Rae took on Raquel Atawo and Jelena Ostapenko, seeded 11th.
Wimbledon has hardly been a happy hunting ground for Robson since she won mixed doubles silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games, with a fourth round appearance in the singles the following year the biggest highlight.
Injuries have also played their part in her fall down the rankings but Robson could at least celebrate bringing her losing run to an end with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win on Thursday.
It only puts her and Rae through to the second round mind, where they will face Makoto Ninomiya and Renata Voracova, but for now, there was relief for Robson at righting a few wrongs.
“I didn’t play my best tennis at all in the singles so it was nice to get another chance out on these courts,” she said.
“Jocelyn and I play pretty well together and we just try and enjoy ourselves and I think we did that.
“Even when we lost the second set, we sat down and said let’s just keep going for our shots and it worked out.
“You focus on not only yourself but your partner as well in the doubles. There is maybe less intensity on trying to hit the perfect shot but more on just doing the right things. There’s maybe a little bit less pressure on yourself.
“Jocelyn is a lot of fun and we’ve known each other so many years that I feel that if one of us gets a bit down then we both know how to pick each other up.”
Despite their relatively new partnership, confidence is high between Robson and Rae, after a run to the final at the recent Aegon Open in Nottingham.
In Ostapenko, they faced a player who had upset the odds to win the French Open singles title recently but Robson admitted they had formulated a plan to restrict her impact.
“We knew Jelena was going to try and return big out there, her ground strokes are obviously big with a lot of pace,” she added.
“But she has an attackable second serve so every time we got a look in, we said let’s just go for it.
“She hit some really big returns at the end when I had to serve it out which gets slightly annoying but you just have to keep going and get an opportunity in the rally.”
SSE, the energy behind Andy Murray Live 2017 returns for a second year to The SSE Hydro in Glasgow. SSE do more for their customers, providing access to exclusive sport and entertainment reward offers and they’re giving customers the chance to win amazing experience packages to this year’s already sold out event. Sign up to #SSEReward now for free ssereward.com/competition