Andy Roddick sounds off on recent 'wild' headlines that were made about Emma Raducanu

Roddick shares his thoughts on British media blaming an appearance in Dubai for Raducanu's early Doha loss.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andy Roddick sounds off on recent 'wild' headlines that were made about Emma Raducanu
© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel

Andy Roddick suggests it was wild to throw out claims that Emma Raducanu was partying hard before Doha and insinuate that was to blame for her loss when the pictures and everything revealed it was nothing more than a formal appearance. 

Earlier this month, Raducanu made an appearance during the opening of a luxury hotel in Dubai as she was joined by some other celebrities - Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Idris Alba, etc. In pictures that surfaced, Raducanu could be seen sitting at the table with other celebrities without alcohol or anything like that near the 21-year-old Briton. 

But after Raducanu exited Doha in the first round following a 0-6 6-7 (6) loss to Anhelina Kalinina, British media wrote about the 21-year-old "attending a Dubai party 48 hours before her match." Also, some of the reports appeared to blame Raducanu's poor display and 48 unforced errors on making an appearance in Dubai just before her Doha first-round match.

Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion, thought Raducanu's Dubai appearance was absolutely blown out of proportion. Also, Roddick underlined that Raducanu has sponsorship commitments and that making an appearance in Dubai was something she was probably obliged to do. 

"Last week, I saw some British rag, ‘Emma Raducanu at a party two days before she plays her first round,'" Roddick said on the Served with Andy Roddick podcast.

"One – she’s a wildcard. If you’re a wildcard it’s like, I’m asking you for a direct entry into a tournament, which your ranking does not get you into. But whenever you get a wild card for the history of time, you have to give something back to the tournament.

"Normally it’s like, I’m not a name, I haven’t won the US Open at that point, so I’m participating in clinics or I’m hitting with a sponsor’s kid... or who knows what it might actually be.

"They’re like, she’s out partying. I’m like, no. She went to an appearance that was probably the reason why she… Maybe I’m projecting here but it’s not out of bounds. She went to this thing, took a picture sitting down, no drink in the hand, no nothing. Party? The headline’s impossible!"

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Roddick was surprised by Raducanu's post-match comments in Doha

Entering Doha, Raducanu was 3-3 on the season and Kalinina was certainly considered a favorable matchup for the 2021 US Open champion. But Raducanu came out playing flat as she got bageled by Kalinina in the first set in which she didn't have a single game or break point. 

In the second set, Raducanu was down by an early break but managed to recover before losing her serve again in the 11th game. With Kalinina 6-0 6-5 up and serving for the match, Raducanu faced two consecutive match points when she impressively managed to steal the 12th game and force a tie-break. Then in the second-set tie-break, Raducanu even had a set point and a chance to force a decider but Kalinina saved it before converting her third match point to escape with a two-set win.

After committing 48 unforced errors against Kalinina and losing, Raducanu said it was her "first day match I played in a year" and that she would "need to practice more outside." Before Doha, Raducanu started her season in Auckland and also competed at the Australian Open. Roddick was a bit stunned by that statement. 

"Three days later, she loses; it’s not the greatest match and she’s talking about how she hasn’t played outdoors enough. I’m going, ‘You spent two months in Australia.’ So I don’t know how to cover her," Roddick said.

"In one aspect, this (criticism) is completely unfair and then other one, I’m going - I don’t know what the focus is as far as coaching. I don’t know what’s happening when."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Roddick cheering for Raducanu

The criticism and scrutiny Raducanu has faced over the last few years is well-documented and former world No. 1 Roddick feels for the Briton and reveals he is actually rooting for the 21-year-old to make it where she wants to be. Also, 41-year-old Roddick issued massive praise on Emma Raducanu winning the 2021 US Open as an 18-year-old qualifier, saying that to this day he has never seen something like that. 

"It's one of the stranger things that I’ve ever had to really think about, all the while every time I watch her, I cheer for her. She’s such a great story and such an outlier in tennis. My entire life I’ve been in this game, and I’ve never once in my life seen something happen the way it did in New York," Roddick said.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Francois Nel

Meanwhile, Raducanu posted an Instagram Story from Los Angeles on Thursday. So far, Raducanu hasn't been announced as a main draw wildcard recipient for next week's WTA 1000 tournament in Indian Wells but it is expected to happen in the next few days. 

Last year, Raducanu made the Indian Wells round-of-16 as a wildcard before losing to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

Andy Roddick Emma Raducanu