‘Emma Raducanu shouldn’t even watch the French Open,’ says Laura Robson

Emma Raducanu will miss the French Open and Wimbledon having undergone operations on her wrists and ankle - Reuters/Angelika Warmuth

Emma Raducanu will miss the French Open and Wimbledon having undergone operations on her wrists and ankle – Reuters/Angelika Warmuth

The former British No1 Laura Robson has advised Emma Raducanu to take a complete mental break from tennis – even to the point of avoiding coverage of next week’s French Open – as she recovers from multiple operations on both wrists and one ankle.

Robson – who underwent wrist surgery of her own almost a decade ago – warned that a proper rest would be the best way of preparing for what will be “a bit of a slog” when the rehab starts. But she also sounded far more optimistic about Raducanu’s long-term prognosis than Boris Becker, who called the injuries “career-threatening” in a recent interview.

“I obviously didn’t have a great time with my wrists,” said Robson, who was a top-50 player when she first went under the knife, but never regained such heights again. “Someone like [Juan Martin] Del Potro didn’t have a great time with his, either. But equally, there’s just as many success stories, which I think people don’t bring up so much.”

Robson clearly disagrees with the severity of Becker’s assessment, which was published this week in The Guardian. As Becker saw it, “The surgeries that [Raducanu] has had are, in my opinion, career-threatening. Having surgery on your playing wrist, and as a two-handed player, the other wrist – and then on your ankle – is tough to bear for a young woman.”

Robson offered a more upbeat take, explaining: “There’s been quite a lot of talk about how the wrist is, like, the end of the world! But I was thinking to myself, ‘I know just as many people who had successful operations.’ Take [former US Open runner-up] Madison Keys: maybe two years ago she had a wrist operation with the same surgeon that I had in the States and it was totally successful. She wasn’t even out for very long.

Laura Robson - Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph

Laura Robson – Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph

“Plus, every injury is different,” Robson added. “I had almost a super-flexible joint. It was getting too much wear and tear because it was just moving too much. So by the time I even started feeling pain, it was already quite far down the line in terms of damage. Emma’s issue is with bumps on the bone; it’s actually more the top of the hand than the wrist joint really.”


Although Robson will be part of the Eurosport team throughout the two weeks of Roland Garros, she didn’t recommend that Raducanu should pay close attention to the event. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Raducanu has form when it comes to “living under my own little rock” – to borrow a phrase she used in March. Earlier in the same interview with the BBC, she said she had ditched Instagram and WhatsApp from her phone and was not missing them at all. The negativity of comments seemed to have been a factor. Raducanu explained that, whatever happens on the match court, “people are gonna come at you regardless”.

At least she can now step away from the repetitive rituals of the tour – the hotel rooms, massage beds and practice courts – for a few quiet months. “It seems like Emma is having a bit of a break, which is probably quite nice after going non-stop from the US Open all the way through,” said Robson. “The rehab after an operation is never easy. So in this first stage where you actually can’t do very much, I think it’s so important to relax a little bit.

“That’s what I always used to try and do, because you’re in for a bit of a slog when you start physio again. You’ll be at the National Tennis Centre every day, knowing in your mind, ‘Okay, I’m here for the next three months, religiously.’ So just that week or two period before everything starts and you’ve got the surgery done, got the cast on, can’t actually do much, I think it’s so important to stay fresh.”

Emma Raducanu - Instagram

Emma Raducanu – Instagram

Was Robson herself able to stay away from tennis during her various injury lay-offs [which also included hip problems towards the end of her career]? She says that she did her best to resist, but still ended up being drawn back towards following the action.


“I always watched it, actually. Yeah, probably not the best decision. You have so much Fomo [fear of missing out] all the time. Like, everyone was playing these huge matches, and I just wanted to see what the level was. I wanted to see the storylines unfold, I was always a tennis fan first and foremost

“Almost every player that I know, when they get back from a long day at Wimbledon, they switch on the TV and they watch more tennis,” added Robson. “Maybe you have a multi-screen going on at once during the early rounds. Even though it can be draining, everyone’s a glutton for punishment.”

Watch LIVE and exclusive coverage of Roland-Garros on Eurosport, discovery+ and Eurosport App

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.

Want to get worth reading articles in your email? want to catch what's going on in the world?

We do not spam but sent you only important news stories 🙂

News Agencies

About Author

The latest news from the News Agencies

You may also like

italy wins uefa euro 2020

Italy wins on penalties UEFA EURO 2020 Final, Italy vs England highlights:

Italy wins the UEFA Euro 2020 Final: Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two penalties as the Azzurri claimed their second EURO title
raybak abdesselem
Editor Picks Sports

Raybak Abdesselem is excited to be a part of Olympics 2024

If ever you are looking for a story to be inspired by, then there are few better people to turn