Laura Robson takes on Yulia Putintseva later today in the first round of the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (16:30 GMT start).
Robson has had a distressing few days as she realised that some of her jewellery had been stolen from her suitcase on the way to Dubai. The young Brit will be looking to put this behind her this evening when she starts her WTA Dubai campaign against Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
Robson has looked fairly sharp in the early stages of the season. She helped Great Britain to Fed Cup success earlier this month, and reached round three of the Australian Open before being defeated by eventual semi-finalist Sloane Stephens.
Robson’s opponent, Putintseva, is a fellow rising star. At the age of 18, the Kazakh will be hoping to climb the rankings this season. However, her quarter-final exit this month in the ITF tournament in Eilat doesn’t indicate that she’s ready for greatness just yet.
Putintseva, who is a wildcard this week, is going to be the underdog heading into this tie. Judging by her Twitter feed it looks like she’s excited about taking part in Dubai though, so we can anticipate a big effort for her. Robson should be able to prevail if she can start brightly, and her top-level experience might just see her through.
Prediction: Robson in two.