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Post Info TOPIC: Emily Webley-Smith


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Emily Webley-Smith


Ahead of this week's Nottingham 10K, the LTA have interviewed Emily: Paddington Tropicana Tour winner Emily Webley-Smith says she is excited to be fully fit again after four years of on-off injury problems and three operations on her right ankle. The 22-year-old, who with British No.1 Anne Keothavong is coached at the Queens Club by Colin Beecher, won her first title since her latest return to competitive play on Saturday. The right-hander from Bristol warmed up for this weeks Nottingham $10,000 tournament by beating top seed Claire Peterzan 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the British Tour event in Paddington, west London. Ian Samuels outlasted Tom Burn in three sets to take the mens trophy. For Webley-Smith it was a welcome return to winning ways after nearly four years trying to fully recover from problems relating to her right ankle, which she broke back in 2002. Having earned nothing for the first seven months of the year, and having relied heavily on the support of my family, its going to take a lot more British Tours and wins at Satellite and Challenger level in this country before I can even begin to think about funding flights and expenses abroad, Webley-Smith said. The history of the injury and Webley-Smiths battle to regain full fitness is not for the faint-hearted. The problems began after breaking her ankle on court four years ago, which resulted in surgery to repair bone and ligament damage and nine months on the sidelines. Although she returned to the tour, she needed a second operation in November 2003 to remove loose cartilage in the ankle. Webley-Smith then enjoyed injury-free tennis for around two years and was able to demonstrate her potential, peaking at a career-high WTA ranking of No.262 in June 2005. But while gently warming up on court in Puebla, Mexico in November last year she felt a sharp pain in the same ankle and instantly knew something wasnt right. After more time off, more scans and a brief, but unsuccessful, return in spring 2006, she underwent surgery for a third time in April this year when doctors drained fluid from the inside of the same ankle. Her rehabilitation seemed to be going well when she was rocked by yet another setback - septicaemia (poisoning of the blood) which left her unable even to walk and which took another five weeks to recover from. My ankle was the size of a football, she recalls. I remember the doctor trying to take my sock off and I was screaming. I was taking what they call an elephant dose of antibiotics and the strongest painkillers they could give me. Webley-Smith says that period was harder to come to terms with than any of her three operations. I reached an all-time low in May this year both personally and professionally and hit rock bottom hard and stayed there for a while, she admits. I was so down and kept questioning why everything had to go so very wrong at the same time. From a tennis point of view, each time you have a long lay-off from the game I think its that little bit harder to come back. Being a bit older you realise how valuable the time is you're missing and are more aware of what its going to take to get back to where you want to be. Webley-Smith was finally able to return to the tour injury free in August and in her second week back reached the last four of the Cumberland $10,000 event before travelling to Istanbul for another $10K ITF tournament where she made the last eight of the singles and won the doubles. Ahead of this weeks Nottingham event, Webley-Smith says she is loving every minute of being back on a tennis court. Im fully fit now touch wood a hundred times! she confirms. Ive worked incredibly hard over the last three months. I travelled to the US with Colin and Anne and was able to train and continue my re-hab over there which was such a beneficial trip. Im loving hitting tennis balls and Im waking up every day excited to play. I just want everything to be simple for me for a while and for things to be on an even keel.



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RE: Emily Webley-Smith - LTA interview


You really have to feel for Emily, she's hugely talented and showed her immense potential in 2004 when she came within a couple of points of beating Amy Frazier and reaching rd3 of Wimbledon. I hope that she can have an injury-free run and get back to the top 300 where she belongs

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Now, I've NO idea if this is true - and huge apologies to the Webley-Smiths if it's not - but it's not salacious at all, and curious, so no harm in repeating it:

A Surbiton official told a group at one of the dining tables in the main public area that the Webley-Smiths do not/did not used to be Webley-Smiths at all, just plain Smith.

And when Emily was born, she was labelled 'Emily Smith' on her cot.

But, seemingly, there was another baby girl called Emily Smith in the hospital and the two babies got mixed up.

It got 'unmixed' - thankfully for everyone - but her mum was pretty traumatised and said, 'right, she's not being Emily Smith any longer, we'll make her Webley-Smith, that way she'll stand out'.

So they did - and she does stand out. And they all lived happily ever after.....



(PS could a Mod maybe put this thread in the dedicated player section?)



-- Edited by Coup Droit on Tuesday 5th of June 2018 08:09:45 AM

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I think you're correct on the name being added, CD, and the reason being associated with the commonness of 'Emily Smith'. Though whether because of a birth mix up or not.. in an earlier China tournament thread Vohor wrote the following:

"I have it on good authority that Em is the polar opposite of someone born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth; her parents sacrificed much to enable Em to pursue her dream of tennis as a career; and the Webley was added to her name as a ruse to avoid the airline ****-ups her parents from experience knew would blight her travel arrangements if she were just "Smith"." Her mother was a PE teacher, her father an amateur sports player according to wikipedia.

I've also copied across the article that was in the same thread that has a little info about her, as well as her lengthy comment about the state of ITF tennis.

http://tennis.life/2018/05/10/emily-webley-smith-plea-save-tennis/



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I know of someone with a similarly common last name who had another one added so she'd be more unique, so it makes sense, whether or not the hospital mix-up story is true.

Funnily enough, there is even another British tennis player called Emily Smith too! She was a top 100 junior and is still at college in the US (Vanderbilt after starting out at Rice) as far as I know.

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EWS is the 19th best 33 year old over in the World Rankings:

tennisabstract.com/reports/rankingsByAgeWta.html

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Emily Webley-Smith


Steven
@GBtennis
·
7h
Congratulations to
@ews24
on completing 20 years playing in WTA-ranked events, having started on 9 October 1999 in Welwyn 25K qualifying aged 15! Since then, Emily has won 4 ITF singles titles & 24 doubles titles, playing 1225 (558S+667D) main draw matches & many more in qualies

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Good stuff. Congrats to Em.

The sort of thing it would be good to see an appreciation of on the LTA site.



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indiana wrote:

Good stuff. Congrats to Em.

The sort of thing it would be good to see an appreciation of on the LTA site.


... If they've even heard of her   



-- Edited by Michael D on Friday 11th of October 2019 03:04:01 PM

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There has been a podcast with Emily, John McGahon (MacX Tennis Academy) and Dan Kienan (SotoTennis Academy), where she discusses all manner of things, including injuries, comebacks, training life on tour etc etc. It is 80 minutes long, but a very good listen. If you follow Emily, do try and find time to listen.

open.spotify.com/episode/6C8lHCwHRb93y4LIBz5HRb

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