World tennis stars bow to Emma Raducanu's rebirth

The young Briton led her team to the final of the Billie Jean King Cup

by Lorenzo Ciotti
World tennis stars bow to Emma Raducanu's rebirth
© Aurelien Meunier / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Emma Raducanu brushed aside criticism and doubt by leading the United Kingdom to the historic Billie Jean King Cup final. A deserved come back, which followed months and months of controversy (too often unfair) towards Briton.

Emma had no longer found that tennis - both due to injuries and off-court situations - since the amazing victory at the 2021 US Open.

The beautiful and very strong Briton has ended up in the sights of many social media users several times in recent months, who - according to them - believed Emma was too focused on commitments with sponsors and social media, rather than on tennis.

This year Emma already seemed to have started the season with a different attitude, after the three surgeries she underwent last spring. At the beginning of 2024, Raducanu reached the round of 16 in Auckland while she exited in the second round of the Australian Open but, despite this, we saw a competitive tennis player eager to return to the top.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Aurelien Meunier / Stringer Getty Images Sport

In a recent interview with The National, the British tennis player explained: "I'm still looking for the best condition and to feel comfortable on the playing court, I'm not completely there yet but I know that with time I will become competitive again.

I'm patient and I'm quite grateful for what's around me, I'm trying seriously. I'm just trying to improve my game, I'm not a finished product but far from it, I feel now is the time to make a breakthrough, in the last two years I've had several illnesses and injuries now I can't wait to focus on the field and improve my level, so the results will come,” she said.

Now, a year after the three surgeries she underwent, Emma has regained control of the center of the stage. Or rather, of the court.

The United Kingdom defeated France in a tough match, qualifying for the BJK Cup final. A deserved result, achieved also thanks to Raducanu's performances. The young Briton defeated Caroline Garcia and Diane Perry in three sets, ensuring her team reached the final against Spain.

On social media, many tennis stars and opponents shared warm praise for Raducanu.

The Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia wrote on Instagram: "While it was not the result we were looking for (congrats to team Great Britain and especially to Emma Raducanu, it's great to see you back playing at such a great level!), it is always an honor to play for Team France. Next time will be in the Olympics, in Paris, can't wait for that!"

Katie Boulter, her partner in the UK team, wrote Emma is her idol.

Emma Raducanu and UK team
Emma Raducanu and UK team© Aurelien Meunier / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Judy Murray, mother of three-time Slam champion Andy Murray, also praised Raducanu.

Emma Raducanu's agent defended the Briton from criticism

Max Eisenbund, Emma Raducanu's agent, had expressed interesting thoughts about his client a few weeks ago in former champion Andy Roddick's Served podcast, defending Emma from her inevitable (and unfair) criticism.

"Emma skipped every step of the way, she won the US Open at 18 and she didn't even know where the tennis players' rooms were. Honestly, I don't feel like being particularly critical and harsh towards her, I believe that people shouldn't be mean towards her, we're talking about a tennis player who is still in full development and is trying, little by little, to understand how this industry works," he said.

Max clarified that between injuries and first tournaments after pressure Emma never had the chance to demonstrate that that victory, at Flushing Meadow, was not a simple coincidence. The agent also talked about the tennis player's constant coaches changes.

"As an agent, I confess that I don't necessarily agree with all these changes, in fact I don't agree at all. But Emma and her family decide and therefore I have to respect their opinion."

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Aurelien Meunier / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Both Emma Raducanu and Maria Sharapova shared the same manager. In the same podcast, Max said about the Russian tennis legend:

"In this 2024 it is twenty years since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon. Her life changed and consequently mine too. She arrived as seed number 13 at Wimbledon and therefore it was already different compared to Emma who won starting from the qualifiers. People didn't think Maria would win Wimbledon but she was coming off the quarterfinals at the Roland Garros and so at least we were aware that something big was about to happen."

On the differences between the two athletes, Emma's manager clarified: "Suddenly you win and everything changes, everything explodes. People always ask me to compare these two victories, but I think thank God social media didn't exist then. Emma won in this era and now it's crazy, there's thousands of information and it wasn't easy for her. With Maria it was different and she had the opportunity to react."

Emma Raducanu Billie Jean King Cup Billie Jean King