Anne Keothavong: Laura Robson needs to have patience

Laura Robson
Laura Robson is the former world number 27
Aegon International
Venue: Devonshire Park, Eastbourne Dates: 20-27 June
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Laura Robson must be "patient" as she comes back from injury, says former British number one Anne Keothavong.

Robson, 21, lost in her first match for 17 months, 6-0 6-1 to Russia's Daria Gavrilova on Saturday in qualifying for the Aegon International at Eastbourne.

"You don't expect to play your best when you first come back," Keothavong told BBC Sussex. "It takes a long time.

"It might even take six months or a year before she even feels like she is playing half-decent tennis."

Saturday's defeat was Robson's first competitive appearance since a first-round loss at last year's Australian Open, before she underwent wrist surgery.

"The fact she is back out on court competing is a great thing for her and British tennis," Keothavong added. "We all know how talented Laura is.

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"It [was] a long time to be out. I had seven months out each time I had knee surgery and that wasn't easy.

"She has got to make sure she is not too tough on herself over these next few weeks and months.

"In her time out, she would have questioned a few things, like how much she loves the game. She must love it a lot to put herself through all that and come back."

Robson has been given a wildcard to the main draw at this year's Wimbledon Championships.

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