End Of An Era For British Women's Tennis As Robson Joins Konta In Retirement

These women have dragged the female game in this country into a new era
14:09, 16 May 2022

As they say, nothing lasts forever, and in sport careers come and go in the blink of an eye. On Monday, British tennis star Laura Robson announced that her time on court had come to an end with injuries being the reason for her decision. And while her career didn’t quite hit the heights as many would have expected, she has helped leave the British game in a much stronger position than when she burst onto the scene in 2008.

Following Johanna Konta who retired in December 2021, Robson has decided now is the right time to end her career too, albeit at the age of 28. It very much feels like an end of an era moment in British tennis. The pair, along with Heather Watson all contributed to help raise the profile of the women’s game for the UK and through their efforts have helped pave the way for young stars such as Emma Raducanu to come through and express themselves on court, giving them the platform to go and make a stronger impact on the women’s circuit.

Robson made a name for herself at a young age when she won the Junior Wimbledon title but her time as a senior was hampered by injuries which stopped her from reaching her true potential. Nonetheless, her efforts as well as her peers of that generation have helped take the standards of British tennis up a level to help keep up with the incredible things Andy Murray was doing for the men’s game.

Robson, partnered with Murray, won the silver medal at the London Olympics 10 years ago and was the pinnacle of her injury-plagued career, but it was the biggest stage to achieve such a highlight. Her best record on the Grand Slam stage was getting into the fourth round at the US Open and Wimbledon in 2012 and 2013 respectively. And while she didn’t quite thrive on that stage, she was helped out by Konta, who reached three semi finals in three different Grand Slam tournaments over a three-year period. The retired duo, along with Watson who is still battling on, have won a combined 11 titles between them and their success has helped British tennis catch up with the rest of the world.

While this era is at an end a new one is dawning. One spearheaded by the teenage sensation Raducanu with a US Open title already to her name and then there is 25-year-old Harriet Dart who herself has already claimed 15 career titles. These two are likely going to be joined by other fresh faces in the years to come but they are building on the foundations that Robson, Konta and Watson have laid for them and there is a feeling that women’s tennis in the UK has never been in such a promising position for a long time.

Robson didn’t have the career her or her fans would have wanted, but what she has helped contribute to British tennis this century along with her peers is a great achievement in itself and adds to her legacy on court. By wearing a rainbow headband at the Margaret Court Arena, she showed she wasn't afraid to speak out and collectively with Konta and Watson, they have inspired the next generation. That is one of the greatest things you can do as a professional athlete and role model.

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