Emma Raducanu’s agent defends teen star’s work schedule
Emma Raducanu’s agent Max Eisenbud has moved to squash the suggestion that she has too many off-court commitments distracting from her game.
Eisenbud claims IMG has “left million of dollars off the table” by capping Raducanu’s at 18 sponsor days per year.
The agent, who also represented Maria Sharapova and Li Na, admitted they have had to show restraint with demand for Raducanu soaring after her 2021 US Open triumph.
“We could have done 50 days of shoots,” Eisenbud told The BBC’s Sports Desk podcast.
“I’ve never seen the amount of excitement and companies that wanted to be in business with Emma after the US Open.”
Eisenbud doesn’t believe Raducanu’s commercial commitments have impacted her performance on the court.
“It’s been a tough year,” he added.
“I think she got a lot of bad luck and what really hurt her was [catching] Covid and not having a great off-season, and then she was playing catch up.
“But I think that if she had zero shoot dates, everything would be the same.
“I know from the outside, you guys want to look at all those things – but if she locked herself in the room for the whole year and didn’t do anything, I think it would be the same.”
The 18-day policy was something Eisenbud came up with while representing Maria Sharapova.
“So we did this exercise through the entire year and we figured out that there was probably 18 days a year that she can give to sponsors that won’t affect her tennis training or her tournament schedule,” Eisenbud said.
Eisenbud believes that it is understandable that people may think that a young player whose popularity suddenly spikes could be distracted, but insisted this has not been the case with Raducanu.
“Never a week or so before a tournament, never in a tournament week and never right after the tournament. I understand how people who don’t understand that philosophy could think that it is distracting her, but I think when you see how it’s laid out, it really is not the case.
“Emma decided that she wants to start her shoots at 12pm or 1pm and go until 8pm or 9pm and have the option in the morning to either train or work out or do some fitness.
“Not all the days have been used of the 18. There are sponsors that have those days, but many of them don’t use them.
“I would imagine by the end of the year the amount of days she uses will be around 13.
“But when the 19th day comes, and it’s millions of dollars and you have got to say ‘no’ because you’re being true to the 18 days – it’s tough.”
Raducanu missed her scheduled pre-Wimbledon practice with Garbine Muguruza on Friday, sparking speculation that she hasn’t fully recovered and may be forced to pull out of the Grand Slam.
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