Robson hopes to follow inspirational Beckham across the pond

DAVID BECKHAM lifted Laura Robson's spirits after her attempt to win the Wimbledon girls' tournament for a second time ended in semi-final misery.

The former England football captain was making a visit to the Championships to cheer on Andy Murray, but he had time before taking his seat on Centre Court to have a look behind the scenes.

And Robson, who had just come off court after a straight-sets defeat to Sachie Ishizu on Court 12, was thrilled to see the 35-year-old.

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"I got a picture with him and that brightened up my day so much," said the 2008 girls' champion.

But Robson was unsure what difference LA Galaxy star Beckham would make if he watched one of her matches on a big stage. "I wouldn't know," she said. "I'd have to get into that position to know what it feels like."

The next challenge in Robson's career involves climbing the senior rankings, and she believes there is a chance to make some big leaps in the coming months.

She went as far as to suggest she might do enough to earn an automatic place in the US Open later this summer, which would mean climbing from her current 234th slot in the rankings to a top-104 position.

Because of her age – she does not turn 17 until January – Robson is restricted by the women's tour in the number of events she can enter.

"I've got four tournaments for the rest of the year but within the rules if I get into the US Open and Australian Open on my own ranking it doesn't count as one of the four," she said.

"So I'm going to try to get into the US Open on my own ranking. I'm going to play Challengers in England in a few weeks, and then after January I'll have the new year of tournaments after my birthday."

It seems highly unlikely she will return to play in the girls' event at Wimbledon next year.

Robson was not at her best against Ishizu, with a low first-serve percentage her main problem. She was beaten 7-5 7-6 (7/5) and at times cut a highly-frustrated figure.

Robson led in both sets but could not close out either.

On a bad day for the British juniors, Olly Golding's hopes of becoming the first British player to reach the Wimbledon boys' final since Miles Kasiri in 2004 were dashed by Australian Ben Mitchel.

The Londoner had had an impressive run through to the last four, beating junior world No 1 Jason Kubler in the third round, but the greater consistency of Mitchell proved the main difference as he raced to a 6-2 6-2 triumph.

He said: "I wanted to play well so badly that almost I think it probably stopped me from playing well.

"The more times I get in those sort of situations, the more I'm going to deal with them in a better way."

Golding's run – and that of Robson – has given British tennis something to smile about after a torrid few months.

He said: "It's great. There's a lot of guys doing a lot of hard work. So I think it's fair that they get some recognition. Not everything is bad in British tennis.

"There's a lot of us in this sort of age group. I think there could be some good results in the future."

If Golding continues his progress then a Davis Cup call could not be too far away, and that is something the youngster would relish.

"I'd love it," he added. "I think it's one of the highest honours you can get, to represent your country."