Emma Raducanu's super agent sounds off on 'malicious' criticism directed at Briton

Agent Max Eisenbud comes to Raducanu's defense.

by Dzevad Mesic
Emma Raducanu's super agent sounds off on 'malicious' criticism directed at Briton
© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

Agent Max Eisenbud is calling on people to stop throwing "malicious" criticism on Emma Raducanu as he believes it is plain wrong to be so critical of the 21-year-old Briton when her situation is one of a kind. 

In 2021, Raducanu did something extraordinary as she was playing just in her second Grand Slam tournament when she made tennis history and became the first qualifier male or female to win a Grand Slam. During her incredible 2021 US Open run, Raducanu - who was 18 at the time - won a total of 10 matches and all of her wins came in straight sets.

But since then, Raducanu hasn't won any titles and her last two-and-a-hajf years have been marked by injuries, inconsistent results and mostly early exits. Mainly due to results but also inability to stay healthy over a longer period and frequent coaching changes, Raducanu has been exposed to some pretty harsh criticism and by now she is well-adjusted to constantly being called out by the media.

"The girl did everything backward, she skipped every step," Eisenbud said on the Served with Andy Roddick podcast.

"She won the US Open, she went to the next tournament, she didn't even know where the player's lounge was, she didn't know where the practice courts were.

"Being tough on her or critical on her like any other player [is wrong]. But she is still figuring it out. I just think that people should not be malicious."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Agent Eisenbud on Raducanu's coaching changes

Since starting her career, 21-year-old Raducanu has worked with six different coaches. 

After a brief stint with Nigel Sears, Raducanu worked with Andrew Richardson - but shockingly split with him shortly after her 2021 US Open win. Then, Raducanu started the 2022 season with Torben Beltz before hiring Dmitry Tursunov in the second part of 2022. Last year, Raducanu started with Sebastian Sachs but split with the German coach shortly after having three surgeres. 

In the last two and a half years, Raducanu received lots of criticism over her frequent coaching changes and some even claimed that her coaching changes were one of the biggest reasons behind her struggles and inconsistent results. Before starting her post-surgery comeback, Raducanu turned to her childhood coach Nick Cavaday. 

Reflecting on Raducanu's frequent coaching changes and criticism surrounding that, agent Eisenbud admitted he "does not necessarily agree" with these moves but suggested that he is fine with that if the Raducanu family feels comfortable that way.

"As the agent, do I necessarily agree with [the coaching changes]? I don't. But it seems to work for her," Eisenbud said.

"As the agent we can only try to recommend and say, 'Hey, this one did it this way.' But they [the family] seem to be very comfortable in the way they are doing it and I have to respect that.

"Maybe that changes and maybe it doesn't. But she really is a hard worker. And tennis is her priority.

"Yes, people want to see that she does other things. But the way I see her work and how smart she is, I believe she'll win more [Grand] Slams."

Emma Raducanu and Nick Cavaday
Emma Raducanu and Nick Cavaday© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Raducanu happy with the work done with coach Cavaday

Although Raducanu's comeback started in the first week of the season in Auckland, the 21-year-old was joined by coach Cavaday at the Australian Open. In Melbourne, Raducanu started with a straight-set win over Shelby Rogers before losing to Wang Yafan in the Australian Open second round, in a match where she seemingly struggled with heat and conditions.

In her first post-Australian Open tournament, Raducanu claimed an impressive 6-4 6-1 win over Marie Bouzkova in the first round of a WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi. In her following Abu Dhabi match, Raducanu contested well three-time Grand Slam finalist Jabeur before the Tunisian claimed a 6-4 6-1 win. In Abu Dhabi, Raducanu revealed she was positive and glad with the job done with coach Cavaday. 

“I made some tweaks after Australia, right before Abu Dhabi,” Raducanu said ahead of her opening match at this week's WTA 1000 event in Doha

“See them in the first round match was really positive. We worked really hard and to see it all come through, I was really encouraged by that. I’m slowly getting there.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

After Abu Dhabi, Raducanu suffered her first opening-round exit of the season after losing to Anhelina Kalinina in the first round of a WTA 1000 tournament in Doha. Following the loss, Raducanu decided to return home and hit the practice court.

“I think that I need to kind of schedule my tournaments a bit better as well as just trying to get some more matches under my belt,” Raducanu said after her Doha exit.

“I think that I’m just going to go home and practice and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Raducanu hasn't yet officially been named as a main draw wildcard recipient for Indian Wells but she is expected to get one and return to action in the desert. 

Emma Raducanu