Thursday, May 23, 2024

On this day in 2022: Teen champion Laura Robson announces retirement from tennis

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Laura Robson announced her retirement from tennis two years ago following three hip operations.

She was thrust into the spotlight aged 14 when she won the girls’ title at Wimbledon and she peaked in the top 30 while still a teenager before her injury problems began.

Speaking to BBC Sport, the former British number one, then 28, said: “I went through every possibility of rehab and of surgery.

“I had another hip surgery and probably did the best rehab block of my life – I went to all the best specialists and had some incredible people that I was working with just to get me back on court – and then, the second time I hit, I just knew.

“It feels weird to say out loud, but I’m done, I’m retired.

“I’ve sort of known that for a while because of what I was told by the doctors last year, but I think it just took me so long to say it to myself, which is why it took me so long to say it officially.”

With her natural ball-striking ability and big-match mentality, Robson was quickly marked out for stardom and rose swiftly through the senior ranks, reaching the fourth round at the US Open in 2012 and winning an Olympic silver medal in mixed doubles with Andy Murray.

The following season she reached the last 16 at Wimbledon and achieved her highest ranking of 27. But a wrist injury began to trouble her later in 2013 and kept her out for most of the next two years.

Laura Robson (second left) won an Olympic silver medal with Andy Murray (second right) in 2012 (Rebecca Naden/PA)

She returned in 2016 but did not manage to recapture the same form she had shown in her teenage years and the hip problems that first surfaced in 2018 proved the final straw.

“I think I’m always going to have the feeling that I could have done more, unfortunately,” said Robson, who now works in tennis administration and in the media.

“I feel like if I had just had another year or two of being healthy, I don’t know what I could have achieved.”

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