London Olympics 2012: Laura Robson Wins Silver, Doesn't Deserve Rude Insults

Ash MarshallSenior Analyst IAugust 5, 2012

Aug 4, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Andy Murray and Laura Robson (GBR) celebrate after defeating Australia in the mixed doubles quarterfinals during London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Andy Murray and Laura Robson won a silver medal in the finals of the mixed doubles competition in the London 2012 Olympic Games on Center Court at Wimbledon on Sunday.

But despite the success, Robson came under an immediate and often intense attack on social media platform Twitter, where she is becoming one of the sport's most-followed female athletes.

Despite having turned just 18 earlier this year and never making it past the second round of a Grand Slam, Robson helped Team Great Britain to a medal in a competition where nothing was expected.

She played great tennis to help the pair even reach the gold-medal match, and while she was nervous at times in the final, she doesn't deserve the criticism she is receiving.

Here's a taste of what's been going on on Twitter after the defeat to top-seeded duo Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi:

GB only lost the tennis doubles because that laura robson is absolute shit!!

— Jono (@JonathanHulme98) August 5, 2012

who allowed that bitch laura robson to play, she was so bad it was disgusting

— James Gibbon (@JamesGibbon24) August 5, 2012

Laura robson is absolute dogshit murray has absolutely carried her to a silver medal #quityouareawful

— kieran mallett (@avfckieran) August 5, 2012

Laura Robson is probably the worst tennis player to have won a silver medal at an Olympic games.

— Jon (@JonCooksey89) August 5, 2012

Coming into the Games, Great Britain's attention was on Andy Murray and the hopes that were pinned to him. The mixed doubles, like the men's doubles and women's doubles, in which Team GB also fielded pairs, were a distinct afterthought for the general public.

Nobody expected Team GB to do particularly well in anything other than the men's singles. Yet as soon as Murray and Robson achieved something truly great—and make no mistake, they did—one half of the partnership comes under fire for supposedly letting the team down.

Laura Robson is not Andy Murray. She didn't perform as well as her partner, and she didn't play as well as the woman on the opposite side of the net, Victoria Azarenka, who just happens to be the No. 1 women's player in the world.

But what we're overlooking in this near miss of another gold medal is the fact that there's no shame in losing to a better team.

The Murray/Robson duo overachieved to get to this game, and they were much better than advertised in the first set of the biggest game of Robson's young career.

Robson was the weakest of all four players on court, both in ability and in experience. She was isolated by her opponents, who thoroughly deserved their gold medals. But that doesn't mean that Robson underachieved. She faltered at some crucial stages, and she let her nerves get the better of her at some inopportune times, but that just doesn't justify the attacks.

She displayed virtually everything we had hoped to see. She hit the ball well from both wings for large stretches of the tournament, she served well, and she showed touch at the net. Her inexperience betrayed her, and while that's unfortunate, it's not a crime. It's part of the process of growing up and improving.

She's developing as a player, and she has a bright future ahead of her. Nobody else could have done what she did this week. Not you, not me, not fellow Brit Heather Watson, who had also hoped to be Murray's selection.

And for those who just want to reinforce the fact that Murray carried the team, I say this. If I'm in a race to move a massive pile of bricks from one spot to another and I have the world's strongest man on my team, you better know I expect him to do the heavy lifting.

She's the youngest player to win an Olympic medal in a tennis competition since 1992, two years before she was born. The future is bright for this talented teen, and her performance deserves far much more credit than the jeers and insults she's been getting from the morons and perverts.

Tennis fans who have followed Robson's career since she won the junior event at Wimbledon at the age of 14 recognize that she is a little raw, but she improves with every event. Sadly, there will always be the handful of idiots—veiled under the Internet and under the misguided notion of patriotism—who tune in to watch five or six sets of tennis once every four years and think they know it all.

You have a right to your opinion, but that doesn't mean I have to listen to you. Fortunately, I can delete and unfollow all day long. If she had played exactly the same, but Murray had won a few extra points, giving them a gold medal, you'd be calling her a hero.

I'm saying this towards the minority here, I know, but when did you become so obnoxious and self-involved? When did you become the sole decider of success and failure? When did you earn the right to criticize a young woman who was representing her nation to the best of her ability?

That isn't patriotism, that's ignorance. And it's shameful.

Robson didn't cost Team GB a gold. She won Team GB a silver. She did herself, her friends and family and her country proud. The sooner people realize that, the better.


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