It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was telling people I really thought Laura Robson would win Slams. Then again I honestly can’t believe that her win over Noppawan Lertcheewakarn on Court One was over 12 years ago in the girls junior final. I maintain I have no shame in my slam claims back then, it is clear that she has never been able to have a fair crack at it.
Robbo had kicked on from her junior success at Wimbledon and looked as if she fitted the bill to be up there with the elite players on the main tour for years. She was taking out big, big names in the game and seemed to have the lot. I used to love watching her crunch her serve and forehand but her nerve and temperament, taking her age into consideration looked top draw. It was the ‘classic’ world at her feet remark. There was that ‘something’ about her. She was and still is a really likeable character and British tennis fans have always had a soft spot for Robbo. As a fellow Brit, it was really exciting times back then with Muzza already starting to make the big breakthrough and Evo starting to produce some really decent form in the men’s. We had Laura and Heather in the women’s and in fairness, it didn’t look like Konta would get much of a look in comparison.
Robson had a last 16 appearance at both the US Open and Wimbledon and also a last 32 showing at the Aussie under her belt by the age of 19. She beat Kim Clijsters and Na Li in The Big Apple, Petra Kvitova in Melbourne and tenth seed, Maria Kirilenko at SW19. There were also victories against Venus and Aggie Radwanska amongst others and the Brit was close to her first tour title in Guangzhou but narrowly lost out to Su-Wei Hsieh in the final. Not forgetting the silver medal with Muzza at London 2012 too. What an effort that was. We were all set and I, like others, expected to see steady improvement as a minimum. Injuries have been cruel, to put it mildly ever since though. There has been wrist surgery and a couple of operations on her hip. Awful!
We know from time that both of these types of injuries have wrecked, spoilt and finished many-a-players careers. So it is fair to say you can understand the loss of form after the wrist injury. She has put in an incredible amount of work to get back on court after the hip surgery and I just hope she can stay injury-free and have a real go at things. Robbo will turn 27 in January, which is ironically the same as her career-high ranking. That means there is still time. It would be great to see her back in the mix somewhere, so here is hoping.
Thanks once again for reading and on a final note, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Andy Del Potro