BRITISH No1 Laura Robson has been urged to consider pulling out of next week’s Australian Open or risk spending most of the year on the sidelines.
Robson withdrew from the Hobart International yesterday after suffering severe pain in her left wrist during her first match of the season, prompting fears that the 19-year-old could miss the opening grand slam of 2014.
British former Australian Open champion Virginia Wade believes playing through the pain in her racket hand could leave Robson open to a far longer lay-off, potentially ruling her out of all four slams.
“You want to play the grand slams, you don’t want to miss out, but I think you have to err on the side of caution,” said Wade, who won the title in 1972.
“You have to understand whether an injury is getting worse. If it’s worse at the end of a match than it was at the beginning, you shouldn’t be playing.
“Look at some of the players who have had wrist problems: they’ve been out of the game for long periods, people like [Juan Martin] Del Potro and [Kim] Clijsters. They can take nine months to heal. You can usually get two hours out of it in a day but it won’t go away.”
Robson was a set up and a break down in the second against Belgian world No61 Yanina Wickmayer when she abandoned the match.
She looks likely to drop out of the world’s top 50 if she misses the Australian Open. Robson has ranking points to defend, having beaten former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on her way to the third round last year.
The teenager could also miss next month’s Fed Cup tie. Robson is joined in Judy Murray’s team by Heather Watson, Johanna Konta and newcomer Tara Moore.