Laura Robson announces retirement from tennis aged 28 after injury hell

Former British No.1 Laura Robson has announced her retirement from tennis aged just 28 after struggling to overcome her injury issues.

Robson burst onto the scene when she won junior Wimbledon at 14. Four years later, she claimed a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics, after playing in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray.

She went on to reach a career high of 27 in the world rankings, whilst still a teenager, but never reached the last-eight of a Grand Slam. Her best efforts came at the 2012 US Open and then SW19 the following year, where she made the fourth round of each tournament.

But her career was derailed when she underwent wrist surgery in 2014, and in recent years has had to endure three hip operations. Speaking to BBC Sport, the Australian-born star 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.”

Andy Murray and Robson won silver at the London 2012 Olympics

Andy Murray and Robson won silver at the London 2012 Olympics

Her natural ball-striking was quickly evident, and the left-hander was tipped for stardom as she rose swiftly through the senior ranks, reaching the fourth round at Flushing Meadows in 2012 before her Olympic exploits that same year.

The following season came her best run at Wimbledon, before she was beaten by Kaia Kanepi. But the wrist injury began to trouble her later in 2013 and kept her out for most of the next two years.

She returned in 2016 but did not manage to recapture the same form she had showed in her teenage years and was unable to climb back into the top 100. Her hip problems came to the fore in 2018 and she underwent her first surgery – admitting she was contemplating retirement – before returning briefly the following year, with her final match coming in Sunderland in April 2019.

Robson went under the knife again later that year and for a third time last January and has now admitted defeat in her efforts to continue her tennis career: “I think overall I’m a much nicer person from going through all of that,” said the 28-year-old, who has carved out a new career in TV and radio.

“If I keep looking back and thinking ‘what if’, then I can’t move forward. I think I’m always going to have the feeling that I could have done more, unfortunately. I feel like if I had just had another year or two of being healthy, I don’t know what I could have achieved.

“But I’m really proud of the Olympics, of playing Fed Cup – playing for your country in any way was always one of my favourite weeks of the year – and I think playing Wimbledon and the US Open the time that I did well, I will have those memories forever.”

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