Emma Raducanu deserves patience as she prepares for the spotlight at Wimbledon

As Wimbledon fortnight gets underway, I feel it pertinent to remind everyone to exercise patience with regard to Great Britain women’s number one, Emma Raducanu.

I have heard it suggested that since her sensational US Open win in September last year, that Raducanu has taken her eye off the ball – so to speak. Critics point to her slew of injuries, the hiring and firing of her coaches and the number of sponsorship endorsements she has signed, which have pulled her away from the court, as evidence of such.

With regards to her injuries, by her own admission, Raducanu has had a “really tricky 12 months”. Since contracting Covid in December, she has battled with a back injury, hip problems, blisters and last week a side strain. However, it would be wrong to think that her injuries are down to a lack of conditioning or training.

Tracy Austin, who remains the youngest ever winner of the US Open, recently spoke about how Raducanu’s body will have always needed time to adjust to the new demands of playing on the WTA circuit.

It is worth remembering that before her Grand Slam win, Raducanu had played just three tour level events before being catapulted from 345th in the world at the start of that year, to 11th in the world rankings now. The WTA circuit is much more demanding on the body and her teenage frame will need time to adjust.

HAVE YOUR SAY! How far will Raducanu get in this year’s Wimbledon? Make your prediction here






Emma Raducanu is one of the top seeds in this year's Championships


Emma Raducanu is one of the top seeds in this year’s Championships
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Getty Images)

When looking at her coaching, conventional wisdom may suggest that Raducanu would be better served in these early career years by a consistent coaching voice, but that doesn’t seem her team’s style. The Raducanu camp have a reputation for hiring coaches, squeezing as much information out of them, then moving on.

This has led to three coaching changes since she was last at Wimbledon and now she is left with no conventional fulltime coach. But who are we to argue with that tactic? She did win the US Open just nine months ago at the age of 18 after all – so it’s hard to say they are going about their business completely wrong. Horses for courses and all that.

With regards to her endorsement deals, by tying herself to super-agent Max Eisenbud, I believe Emma Raducanu has made a very shrewd move, not just for her bank balance but also for her tennis.






Raducanu is still adjusting to the demands of the full time WTA circuit


Raducanu is still adjusting to the demands of the full time WTA circuit
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Getty Images)

Eisenbud was responsible for monetising Maria Sharapova’s 2004 Wimbledon win when she was just 17 and also Li Na’s first Grand Slam win in 2011, which was watched by 118 million Chinese viewers.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Eisenbud spoke about his tried and tested formula, which limits Emma’s filming days to just 18 a season. He explains that those days are never in the week before a tournament, during a tournament, or in the four days preceding a tournament – allowing her tennis to continue to be the priority. So she seems in experienced hands.

I personally don’t see the signs that Emma Raducanu isn’t operating any other way than as expected, and in time, more success should come. We must though remember to exercise some patience whilst she finds her feet at this new level of competition and stardom.

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