Time to stop the social media hate flowing in Emma Raducanu’s direction
It’s time to stop the hate flowing in the direction of Emma Raducanu.
The 2021 US Open champion would be the first to accept her performances since that remarkable triumph in New York have not lived up to the hype that was inevitably created around her on the back of that victory.
Yet the army of social media snipers who continue to leap on her after each and every defeat with a glee that makes little sense need to remove their venom from this debate.
This is a young lady who had her world turned upside down by her US Open success story, in what was the most remarkable tale in tennis history.
No qualifier had come close to winning a major title until Raducanu shattered the glass ceiling of the tennis world and propelled herself to global superstardom, with the commercial endorsements that followed an inevitable by-product of that success.
As always in this cynical world, those looking in on the Raducanu story did so with a jealous glint in their eye and that bitterness continues to flow.
Her opponents on the court see Raducanu as a big scalp there for the taking and in a competitive sporting world, they need to take advantage of what looks like a decent draw against a player struggling to find her feet on the WTA Tour.
What is hard to fathom is the delight her detractors take from her losses.
The Tennis365 Facebook page exploded as we posted an article on Raducanu that confirmed she is getting close to falling out of the top 100 of the rankings after a disappointing 18 months that has been dominated by injury lay-offs.
Of the hundreds of comments that flowed in response to the article, many were negative and appeared to be gleefully joyous over Raducanu’s downfall.
Why would any tennis fan want a player who could be a great asset for the women’s game for years to come to fail and potentially drop out of the sport?
It is a position that makes no sense, yet maybe we shouldn’t try and analyse why haters spread their hostility on social media.
We see similar euphoric reactions both from fans of Novak Djokovic and those who delight in criticising him, yet the world No 1 has had a story that has divided opinion for many years and that may explain why many around the world like to express their views on a sporting giant who has not always followed the conventional rule book.
Raducanu’s crime appears to be that she signed too many sponsorship deals and made too much quick money from her US Open win, but anyone in her position would have done the same.
Maybe she is spending too long promoting the brands she is associated with, but those around the British No 1 suggest her passion for tennis has not waned and her desire to succeed burns as brightly as ever.
At the age of 20, it is far too early to write off a player who has proved she can win on the biggest stage and could still have a decade in front of her to try and recreate that success.
Raducanu is out of her depth on clay courts as she has no experience on them, but let’s see how she performs on grass courts next month and then in the US hard-court season that will follow.
If we get to the end of 2023 and Raducanu is ranked around 150, she may have to enter ITF World Tennis Tour events in a bid to boost her ranking and get confidence back into her game.
That may not be a bad development for her career, but those who seem to drive a social media campaign hoping she fails are a distraction she could do without.
Raducanu is a great asset for our sport and we should all be willing her to succeed.
Those pedaling a different agenda are not real tennis lovers.
READ MORE: Madrid Open draw does Emma Raducanu no favours
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