After her early success at the 2021 US Open, things are not going easy for Emma Raducanu, 13th in the world ranking. The 19-year-old prodigy has since dropped to the first of three tournaments and the second of two others. The topics, although reductionist, almost always hide their part of reason and the British, who came very quickly to the elite, is having a hard time keeping up. Miami is the latest example. In this edition, the second round has been its top. After a hard-fought match against the Croatian Petra Martic (58th, 31 years old), the same result: a tough 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5 loss in 1h21. A trend that she is establishing and that, given her great media power, is taking its toll on her in the public sphere.
The criticisms arrive and, with them, the response. The majority, focused on the great exposure that the young tennis player has on social networks and the advertising contracts that she signs, multimillionaire character. Facts that, according to many voices, make his head move away from tennis, from the purely sports field. Raducanu strongly denies this. “I throw a post in the car on the way to training and all of a sudden that already means ‘I don’t focus on tennis’. I think it’s unfair, but it’s something I’ve learned to deal with and I’m becoming more and more insensitive to outside noise,” says the player, in statements collected by ESPN. “Actually, I feel that my days with sponsors are pretty limited. It’s not crazy. I dedicate three or four to them every quarter, so it’s not really that much,” he adds.
Doubts and uncertainty on the horizon
Facing Martic, Emma came close to victory, but was resisted. A hard and disconcerting defeat, even for herself. “It’s a challenge. It takes a lot of yourself to recover from something like that… what can I do right now,” she wondered. At a press conference, where he did not know how to specify his next steps: “I have no idea. I’m not even thinking about that right now”, he answered if, soon, the land tour would be added. A moment of doubt, but that, according to the player herself, has nothing to do with her time devoted to sports, which is a lot. “Maybe you just see me, on the news or on social media, signing this or that contract. I feel like it’s pretty misleading, because actually, I am accumulating five or six hours a day of training. In total, I’ve been at the club for about 12″, he remarks to his critics. Talent in abundance and a lot of dedication that, for now, they are still looking for confirmation.