Emma Raducanu hits back at ‘those’ who question her commitment to tennis

Shahida Jacobs
Emma Raducanu practice

Emma Raducanu has defended her off-court activity, saying those who question her commitment to tennis often don’t see the time she puts in at the gym and on the training courts.

The 2021 US Open winner hasn’t enjoyed much success on the WTA Tour since her famous victory at Flushing Meadows just over two years ago.

Raducanu finds herself at No 212 in the WTA Rankings as poor form and injury woes have taken its toll as she played only 10 matches last year after undergoing surgery on both her wrists and her one ankle.

She is 9–7 so far this year, but many have questioned whether or not she is putting in enough time to regain full fitness and her best form with those on social media is often critical when she is spotted at showbiz events.

In an interview with The Times, Raducanu took aim at her critics, saying: “There are those who see me doing a shoot or posing for a commercial and they don’t see the seven hours before that at the training centre, doing physio, gym, hitting balls. But if on a rare evening I go to a premiere and I get photographed, that’s my downtime.”

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu opens up about her ‘pushy parents’ and being ‘forced into tennis’

On the back of her stunning success at the US Open, Raducanu became an overnight sensation as she went from a relatively unknown teenager to one of the most famous and marketable athletes in the world.

Endorsement deals with the who’s who of the business world followed as she became an ambassador for the likes of Tiffany & Co., Dior, British Airways, Vodafone and Porsche.

But while Raducanu’s sponsorship portfolio grew over the past two years, she has struggled on court.

There is no doubt that she has the talent to compete with the very best in the game and she certainly still has time on her side.

The 22-year-old was asked if she gets jealous of any of her schoolmates living normal lives, and she replied: “I do, but the rewards I am getting at this point are a lot greater than the best they can get.

“My career in tennis is probably finished in 10 years, so I have got to maximise. It’s a sacrifice worth making.”

She could go down the finance route once she calls it a day as she explained: “I met a group of HSBC trainees and it was fun seeing what they were doing. In 15 years it will all be reversed and they will be super high up and I will just be starting. My parents were academic and they always led me down the finance route.

“I am seeing the operations behind the scenes and something I would potentially want to do in the future. A hundred per cent for me – life starts after tennis. I am actually looking forward to the next chapter, which is funny to say at this age.

“But there are so many things I want to do in this life and I just don’t have enough time.”

READ MORE: Emma Raducanu argues women’s players are ‘technically better’ in ‘unfair’ gender pay gap claim