After being forced to stay away from WTA tour competition for 17 months, Britain’s Laura Robson has returned to top-flight tennis competition at the 2015 AEGON International in Eastbourne on Saturday.
Robson went into almost one and a half years of injury timeout following the 2013 Australian Open as the Junior Wimbledon champion needed to undergo major wrist surgery that led to a lengthy rehabilitation process, interrupted by several minor injuries.
The popular Brit ended up being match-ready right in time for her favorite part of the season, allowing the London-based former world #27 to make her comeback in front of her home crowd. The local fans did not disappoint as interest in Robson’s comeback was tremendous, attracting spectator masses that would have been worthy of a tournament quarterfinal instead of a qualies match.
40 minutes before the match, all seats on Court 1 were taken as plenty of fans tried to squeeze into the arena just to catch a glimpse of Robson’s return to the court. While the young player was seemingly flattered by all the attention and support, the occasion seemed to overwhelm Robson who made a very nervy start into her match, losing the first set 0-6 before finally winning a game in the second set.
Playing a strong 2015 season so far, opponent Daria Gavrilova had no problems getting past Robson, who afterwards was just pleased to have played a full match without having any health issues whatsoever.
Robson’s now waiting to see whether she got awarded a Wimbledon wildcard that would allow her to play her home tournament, looking at the player’s huge popularity with both the fans and the media it’s pretty likely that the tournament’s former junior winner won’t be denied entry.
Women’s Tennis Blog will be bringing you full live coverage of the 2015 AEGON International all week. Both the tournament’s quarterfinals and part of round 1 are scheduled for tomorrow, so keep checking back for all the latest from Eastbourne.