Having won a Grand Slam at 18 was certainly a blessing and a curse, at the same time, for Emma Raducanu. The very young British tennis player, after the triumph at the US Open 2021 in the teen final against Leylah Fernandez, showed a confident, solid tennis ruler.
Then, from that victory, an endless abyss of mediocre performances, disappointing eliminations, physical problems and staff changes. At the same time, Emma has become the object of desire of many famous brands, who wanted to grab her young face to make her their testimonial.
Much, perhaps too much, for a very young tennis player who has yet to train on the court.
But the rain of criticism you have received in recent months is, according to your writer, unfair. What harm is there if a young, beautiful and ambitious girl like Raducanu devotes part of her time to sponsors or to fashion.
All the athletes pass it, the strongest and most successful, and the unknown ones. In equal measure. Obviously if a girl wins a title and then doesn't repeat herself, she is immediately labeled as a new Eugenie Bouchard, all social media and zero court (according to the haters, of course).
Emma is young, she has time to prove her worth of her: if not, then her luck has helped her in New York, but that doesn't mean she's less professional or interested in her profession. Raducanu is young, leave her alone.
Meanwhile, the first grass-court tournament was not a lucky one. At the WTA in Nottingham, the world number eleven was forced to retire against Golubic. She said: "I'm not really sure what exactly happened, I don't know what I could have done about it.
I have to do a check and we'll see from there. It's on the side of my body, it feels maybe around my ribs. You don't want to stop. after a game or two and I tried to face him, and I also found myself leading by 3-1.
At that point, I knew it was only a matter of time to be honest. Clearly I couldn't serve and, because of the point, I had to move everything, to turn, to move, to serve, to inhale and exhale. " Also last year, in Nottingham, Emma had not made it through the first round of the tournament.
Two weeks later, however, the British was preparing to tread the most important stage in tennis, Wimbledon. In the Grand Slam tournament, the young tennis player, then 18, pushed up to the round of 16, retiring with Ajla Tomljanovic for reasons related to anxiety: "If last year, in Nottingham, you had told me that I would have reached the fourth round of Wimbledon, I would have said: Yes, yes!
It was a good week and I think I was able to use that momentum. Throughout the summer I continued to do a good job and I got a big win at the US Open."