Former British No 1 tennis player Laura Robson eyeing a move into padel

Laura Robson

Former British No 1 Laura Robson could have a sporting career back on court after her retirement from tennis, after she confirmed her entry into a padel tournament in London next week.

Robson, who spoke to Tennis365 during Wimbledon about the challenges of coming to terms with retirement from tennis, took part in the Invitational event for ex-players at this year’s Championships at the All England Club.

Yet it seems her appetite to compete on court is still burning brightly, after the 28-year-old confirmed her entry into the FIP London Padel Open, that gets underway at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre on August 4th.

Robson will be joined in the event by rising British star Tia Norton and another former tennis star in Jo Ward, who played in first Wimbledon championships during her tennis career.

Padel’s rise in popularity has been promoted by prominent supporters like football superstar David Beckham and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, with former British No 1 Annabel Croft telling Tennis365 that she believes the sport that is hugely popular in Spain is ready to explode in the UK.

“There is a lot of momentum behind padel now,” said Croft, speaking to us at a Game4Padel event. “You hear more and more people talking about it. I hear lots of young people talking about padel and wanting to get into it.

“It really feels like the game is on an upward curve. It can engage with people who might find tennis too difficult and that’s the beauty of padel.

“Each time I play padel, I come off with a big smile on my face. It is very similar skills to tennis because of all the volleying and the touch and feel.

“I haven’t quite mastered the back wall yet, but it is a very social game. There are always a lot of smiles on court and it is a great game. I really enjoy it.

“I’m still trying to learn all the different skills and I’ve learned that top spin doesn’t work in padel. What I would say is that as a sport, it is a lot easier to pick up. Serving is a lot less stressful as you literally just bounce the ball and slice it into the court.

“You can have great rallies and even if you are not a tennis player, your level can come up quite quickly. Obviously the pros that play will be on a different level, but I really enjoy playing.”