Amidst all the satisfaction over Britain’s fine start to the year thanks to the efforts of Andy Murray, Heather Watson, James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Liam Broady, one familiar face has been missing during the Australian summer.
Laura Robson has not played for more than 12 months because of a wrist injury which eventually required surgery, but the 20-year-old Briton is hoping to start her comeback by playing at two minor tournaments in the United States next month.
Robson, who is currently training at Nick Bollettieri’s academy in Florida, has dropped to No 941 in the world rankings during her absence but she will be able to use a “protected ranking” to enter some tournaments when she returns.
Her agent, Max Eisenbud, who has also guided Maria Sharapova’s career, said: “People have got to remember she has been out for more than a year. Going into these smaller tournaments she could play day after day and we have got to make sure she is ready for that kind of schedule.
“We don’t want to pick up a different injury because her body isn’t properly reconditioned to play day-after-day tennis. I have had a lot of experience in this kind of thing with Maria. The important thing in bringing a player back after a very long time away from the game is to be smart.”
Judy Murray, Britain’s Fed Cup captain, has been in regular contact with Robson and said she had been working well with her coach, Mauricio Hadad. “I just think it’s frustrating because the injury is obviously taking a lot longer than they both would have hoped,” Murray said.
“She’s obviously champing at the bit to get back, but she realises more than anybody that you just have to be patient and follow the orders of the doctor and the physios. The thing with a wrist injury is that you can still work very hard on your physical conditioning while you’re not necessarily able to play as much.”Reuse content