Laura Robson targets Indian Wells event after opting out of Australian Open

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Football News

Laura Robson is targeting Indian Wells in March for her return to top-level tennis after opting not to enter the Australian Open.

Robson could have played in Melbourne using her protected ranking of 58 - the place she occupied before the wrist problems that derailed her career at the start of 2014 and from which she is still working her way back.

The 21-year-old made a belated return last summer but played in only eight tournaments, winning three matches, and is currently ranked 555th.

She has not played since September, with a series of niggles prompting her to bring her comeback season to a premature end.

Because Robson used her protected ranking to enter the US Open this year, she only has the option of using it for one more grand slam, which could be the French Open in May.

The Londoner, who reached a career-high ranking of 27 in 2013, is likely to return at smaller events on the second-tier ITF circuit.

But her representatives told Press Association Sport she is hoping to play the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March, one of the biggest tournaments on the WTA Tour, while Charleston in April is another strong possibility.

There was disappointment, meanwhile, for British number three Kyle Edmund after he missed out on direct entry to the new season's first grand slam.

Edmund had looked to have done enough to gain direct entry into a slam for the first time following his victory in a Challenger tournament in Buenos Aires last month, which earned him a Davis Cup debut for Great Britain in the final.

But, because five male players have used protected rankings, Edmund's ranking of 102 puts him three spots out.

Likely withdrawals mean the 20-year-old still has a good chance of making it without having to go through qualifying.

Britain has four players who have secured direct entry for the tournament, which starts on January 18 - Andy Murray, Aljaz Bedene, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.

Among those players using his protected ranking is American Brian Baker, who has not played since the US Open in 2013.

The 30-year-old finally showed his potential after a career wrecked by injuries with a dream season in 2012, reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon, only for knee problems to strike once again.

Baker told the ATP website: "I know I'm not going to be at my best in the early part of the year but, as long as I'm feeling strong and healthy, my game will come around.

"As I've shown over the years, I'm definitely prone to injury. It's just a matter of being smart about it. Hopefully, I can learn from my mistakes and just get lucky."


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