Robson fashions Milan comeback

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The Independent Online

Laura Robson is returning to competition after more than three months out of the game following an injury scare. Britain's junior Wimbledon champion will play in the Bonfiglio Trophy Under-18 event in Milan next month, her first tournament since reaching the Australian Open junior final. Initial fears that calf muscle pain was due to an injury were dispelled by a second medical opinion which showed that the problem had been caused only by a growth spurt.

The 15-year-old from Wimbledon has grown significantly in recent months and her team decided it would be in her best interests to hold back from competition for a while.

Since last week, however, she has been practising on clay in Barcelona in preparation for her return. She will play in Milan, which is one of the biggest events on the junior circuit, and probably another tournament in Europe before heading for the French Open at the end of next month.

The junior world No 1 will then return to Britain for the grass-court season and the defence of her Wimbledon title. As the junior champion she also receives a wild card into qualifying for the senior event, though the All England Club could yet decide to give her a wild card into the main draw.

Robson made her debut in senior competition at the end of last year, winning a tournament in Sunderland and taking a set off the then world No 42, Iveta Benesova, in her only appearance on the main tour in Luxembourg, but Wimbledon will be her first venture outside the junior circuit since November. "The focus this year was always going to be on the junior Grand Slams, with one or two appearances in senior tournaments thrown in at appropriate times," Abigail Tordoff, Robson's agent, said yesterday.

"This is also a big year for her in terms of her school work. She's sitting a GCSE this summer and has a lot of work to do on that." Robson is taking her English GCSE a year early in the middle of the French Open.

* Andy Murray's second-round match in the Rome Masters against Juan Monaco was postponed until today after rain disrupted play.

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