Laura Robson, the British player who won junior Wimbledon at 14 and an Olympic silver medal at 18, has confirmed her retirement from tennis.
The 28-year-old rose to 27th in the world rankings and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and the US Open.
But then injury intervened: He underwent wrist surgery in 2014 and in recent years has had three hip surgeries.
“I went through every possibility of rehabilitation and surgery,” Robson told BBC Sport.
“I had another hip surgery and probably did the best rehab block of my life — went to the best specialists and had some amazing people that I was working with just to get back on the court, and then the second time I hit, I just I knew it.
“It feels weird saying it out loud, but I’m done, I’m retired.
“I’ve known for a while because of what the doctors told me last year, but I think it took me so long to tell myself, that’s why it took me so long to say it officially.” .”
Dr. Jo Larkin, former medical director of the LTA, and Rob Hill, who worked as a senior physical therapist for many years, were a constant support to Robson and were with her when the doctors gave her the news she was waiting for.
“We just sit and cry together, but I know they will be in my life forever,” she said.
Robson was named WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2012 when she beat Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters and Li Na in the race for the fourth round of the US Open.
She also reached her only WTA final in Guangzhou that September (she was the first Briton to play in a WTA final in 22 years), and in early August accompanied Andy Murray to a silver medal in the mixed doubles at the London Olympics. It was close to gold, but Victoria Azarenka and Max Myrni won the deciding tiebreaker 10-8 on Center Court at Wimbledon.
“I think I’m always going to have a feeling that I could have done more, unfortunately,” Robson said as he considered his career.
“I feel like if I had had another year or two of being healthy, I don’t know what I could have accomplished.
“But I’m very proud of the Olympics, playing the Fed Cup, playing for your country in any way was always one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I think playing Wimbledon and the US Open the moment that I did well, I’ll have those memories forever.”
Robson’s run to the fourth round of Wimbledon came in 2013, five years later. she had won the girls title at the age of 14.
“The photos that come out every year: I look so young. I can’t even remember half of the things that happened, I was a baby,” he says, appearing in no doubt that the experience was overwhelmingly positive.
“It didn’t hurt me in any way, and I think it was really exciting and it was the first time I played in a big stadium.
“And the things that it brought me in life, the year after I was able to open exhibition court two at Wimbledon in the main draw, I wouldn’t have had that chance if I hadn’t won the juniors.
“I think it opened my eyes to how difficult it is, how much pressure I had on my shoulders and how to deal with the difficult things in your life. I wouldn’t back down for anything.”
Seeing Robson in full swing was often an exhilarating experience. She had a powerful left serve, a forehand that hit hard from the back of the court (often with little room for error), and in the relatively short time her body allowed, the former British number one showed taste and temperament for the game. big occasion
What a great shame, therefore, that her doll became an issue at almost exactly the age Emma Raducanu is now.
Robson says that she doesn’t feel cheated and that she now feels at peace with the hand that gave her life.
“But that took a long, long time because it’s the difficulty of having it taken away from you instead of deciding it yourself, as I would love to still be there,” he says.
“But ultimately, what happened happened, and I think overall I’m a much kinder person after going through all of that.
“If I keep looking back and thinking ‘what if’ then I can’t move forward.”