Ex-British star applauds Emma Raducanu's approach amid some harsh comments

Raducanu was recently heavily criticized for missing the French Open and Paris Olympics.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ex-British star applauds Emma Raducanu's approach amid some harsh comments
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Former British tennis star Johanna Konta is applauding Emma Raducanu for the way she has been handling things recently and keeping a strong attitude despite receiving some pretty harsh criticism and scrutiny from British media. 

After Raducanu decided to withdraw from the French Open qualifying because she wanted to "focus on preparing for the grass season," the Briton was criticized as some argued that missing Grand Slam chances wasn't smart from her side. Also, some were going at the 21-year-old because they thought she felt so entitled that she didn't want to play at Roland Garros after not receiving a main draw wildcard.

Then, the news came out that Raducanu opted not to represent Great Britain at the upcoming Paris Olympics because she feared quickly going from clay to grass and then back to clay again would lead to injuries. That's when some started labeling the 2021 US Open champion "a diva" - something that the 21-year-old wasn't happy about. 

But Raducanu kept going about her things and that led to her playing some of her best tennis in the last couple of years during this year's grass season - she reached the Nottingham semifinal and was an Eastbourne quarterfinalist before also making her second round-of-16 at Wimbledon. Also, Raducanu got her first two top-10 wins in the last month after beating Jessica Pegula in Eastbourne and Maria Sakkari at Wimbledon, respectively. 

“I think this is where Emma’s really good and very mature. She has a thought, she has a direction in mind, and she goes for it and she makes the decision, and I think that’s a very mature approach for a young player," former three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Konta said of Raducanu.

“And the same thing with her coaching team. I wish I did that more where I felt like a coaching situation wasn’t working, I didn’t wait for it to run its course because of how I thought the media would start speaking about it. I really admire her for her conviction in how she goes about deciding things for her career.”

Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta © Getty Images Sport - Pool

Konta on Raducanu's Wimbledon campaign

Raducanu's good form leading into Wimbledon led to bigger expectations being placed on the 21-year-old, and although her run ended in the round-of-16 with a surprise 2-6 7-5 2-6 loss to qualifier Lulu Sun, she didn't disappoint at Wimbledon. Before the Sun loss, Raducanu beat lucky loser Renata Zarazua and dismantled Elise Mertens 6-1 6-2 and Sakkari 6-2 6-3, respectively. 

Konta, a former world No. 4, believes this was a great result for the 2021 US Open champion but also something from which she can learn.

“I think it’s great to see her again have four successive matches. I think her last match against Sun was actually really positive. I don’t think we’ve had enough of a chance to see Emma in a situation where a lot of resistance has been put up against her," Konta said of Raducanu's Wimbledon run. 

“I think it was actually positive to see her in that space, especially how she dealt with that first set where Sun played really smart against her. To then see Emma really get stuck into that second set and turn the momentum a bit.

“Ultimately I think in a player’s career this is where you spend most of your time. You’re not going to spend your career just rolling through everybody. She will start winning these matches more and more and I think that’s where your deep-rooted confidence in you as a competitor and you as a player and what you can do out there, how you can problem solve, really comes from.

“The more she can be here, I think the more resilient a player it will make her and ultimately I think it will be what makes her a really, really great tennis player.”

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

When Raducanu plays again?

Although Raducanu won't be competing at the Paris Olympics that are slated to start on July 26th, she will be back in action later this month as she is scheduled to kick off her North American hard court swing in Washington.

When the 21-year-old Briton returns to Washington - which is scheduled to kick off on July 31st - she will be playing there for the second time in her career. 

Two years ago, Raducanu had a solid Washington debut as she made it past her opening two matches before falling short to Liudmila Samsonova in two sets. 

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu © Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith

After a great grass season, Raducanu will enter the summer on hard courts swing feeling confident and there is no doubt that she will be hoping continue her fine form in Washington. 

Emma Raducanu French Open Olympics