Wimbledon: Injury inspires Jocelyn Rae to new doubles heights

Rae feared tennis career was over

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jocelyn Rae is returning to Wimbledon with renewed ambition after recovering from a career-threatening foot injury.

The 23-year-old will team up with Anna Smith as a wildcard pairing in the ladies' doubles.

Rae last appeared at Wimbledon in 2011 when she reached the last 16 of the mixed doubles with Colin Fleming before being forced out for two years.

"It's made me more determined, gave me more hunger," said Rae.

"At the beginning, I definitely thought that maybe this injury is too severe to get back on court."

Rae first noticed the injury while playing in the Fed Cup in 2011 and it was only after Wimbledon that a stress fracture in her foot was diagnosed, an injury which eventually required surgery.

A year ago, Rae's chances of further appearances in Grand Slam events did not look bright, but she has since regained her place in Britain's Fed Cup team, reached a career-high doubles ranking of 138 in the world and won nine ITF doubles titles with Smith.

Their consistent form led to the wildcard for Wimbledon, and although they face a tough task against Flavia Pennetta of Italy and Australia's Sam Stosur in the first round, Rae is determined to enjoy every moment.

"I'm pleased because I wasn't even playing at this time last year," Rae told BBC East Midlands Today during the recent Aegon Trophy event in her home city of Nottingham.

The injury has forced Rae to reassess her career, and she is now focused on being a doubles specialist as the physical demands of competing in singles remain too much.

She was a Commonwealth Games champion for Scotland with Fleming in 2010, but with no tennis in the schedule for Glasgow this summer, they will not have the chance to defend their title.

Instead, Rae has set her sights set on breaking into the world's top 50 in doubles.

"You can make a good living and have a great career in doubles, but you have to be lot higher than where I am right now," she added.

"That is my goal, to get to the top 100 then top 50 and being able to play all the Slams."