Laura Robson, who has not played for three months because of a wrist injury, is to have an operation which will force her to miss both the French Open and Wimbledon. The 20-year-old Briton had hoped that rest might cure the problem, but has instead opted for surgery.
“I have decided to have minor wrist surgery at the Mayo clinic with one of the best wrist doctors in the world, Dr Richard Berger,” Robson said in a message to her supporters on Facebook.
“Dr Berger is very confident that I will be able to return to the tennis court pain-free before you even have time to miss me. Although sadly, I will have to miss the French Open and Wimbledon.”
Robson suffered the injury during winter training and has not played since the Australian Open in January.
Not much has gone right for her since last summer, when she became the first British woman to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for 15 years and then made the third round of the US Open. She has had three different coaches in the last six months and has won only three matches in her last six tournaments.
Having reached a career-high position at No 27 in the world rankings last July, Robson has since slipped to No 64 and will inevitably fall further. That could lead to Britain not having any women ranked in the world’s top 100 and reliant on wild cards to play in Grand Slam events. Johanna Konta (No 117) and Heather Watson (No 121) are the next two highest-ranked British women.
Wrist injuries are particularly problematic for tennis players. Juan Martin del Potro, for example, has never been the same since wrist surgery following his 2009 US Open victory and is currently recovering from a further operation.
Today’s quarter-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters will feature five of the world’s top six men. Tomas Berdych, who suffered a back problem, was the only big name to lose yesterday when he was beaten by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who now faces Novak Djokovic, the defending champion.
Djokovic has dropped only two games in his first two matches and needed just 47 minutes to beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-0, 6-1.
The world No 2 could face a semi-final against Roger Federer, who beat Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-1 and now faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Rafael Nadal will aim to beat David Ferrer for the 18th time in a row on clay, while Milos Raonic faces Stanislas Wawrinka, whose opponent Nicolas Almagro withdrew because of injury.