Emma Raducanu's hectic 2021 calendar mapped out as US Open winner confirmed for Abu Dhabi
Emma Raducanu has packed her schedule full of tournaments and exhibition events for the rest of the 2021 season after losing early in Indian Wells.Raducanu became an overnight household name in the sporting world when she achieved the seemingly-impossible, failing to drop a set in three qualifying rounds and seven main-draw matches as she became the first qualifier to win a Major and the first woman to lift the title on her second appearance at Grand Slam level.
Eddie Jones, head coach of the England men’s rugby team, has been criticised after claiming tennis star Emma Raducanu has been distracted by fame. © GiveMeSport Eddie Jones, head coach of the England men’s rugby team, has been criticised after claiming tennis star Emma Raducanu has been distracted by fame
Jones made the comment about Raducanu while discussing Marcus Smith, the 22-year-old fly-half who made an impressive second-half appearance during England’s 69-3 victory over Tonga.
Smith was warned about the "flood of distractions" which could come his way as a result of sporting success.
Emma Raducanu previews Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi - 'Can't wait'
Emma Raducanu is looking ahead to competing in Abu Dhabi in December. The US Open champion will face Belinda Bencic in a exhibition match at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City. She said: "Hey everyone it's Emma Raducanu, what a year it's been. I can't wait to start the next season in Abu Dhabi. See you on December 16."The usual six-player men's tournament will also take place alongside Raducanu's exhibition match.Rafael Nadal is the defending champion having defeated Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2019 final.
"The big thing for young players is distractions," Jones said. "Distractions can be the exposure they get in the media, the praise and criticism they get, groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.
"There’s a reason why the girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards. What have you seen her on? The front page of Vogue, the front page of Harper’s Bazaar, whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes.
"All those distractions are out there. It mightn’t be to that degree with Marcus, but it could be."
Since her improbable victory at the US Open, Raducanu has attended the Met Gala and the James Bond premiere, starred in a Sports Direct advert, and become an ambassador for Dior and Tiffany and Co.
The 18-year-old has made it clear that she would never let off-court commitments affect her tennis career, however.
"I made it very, very clear to every single person in my team that I was not going to cancel one training session or practice session for any off-court commitments," Raducanu said yesterday.
Fans have also lept to the defence of the young star, with one Twitter user writing: "Extremely harsh from Eddie Jones here. 'Firstly, she's called Emma Raducanu. And secondly, Marcus Smith hasn't just won a major title.
"28 minutes of exciting rugby in an Autumn series isn't the same league as winning a Grand Slam, she's entitled to enjoy it."
Another described Jones’s comments as a "cheap shot". His words have also been branded as "nasty" and "ridiculous."
Emma Raducanu's 5 next coach options as Brit tipped to 'go through a lot'
Emma Raducanu is currently looking for a full-time coach and has already established a reputation for ending partnerships early. Mark Petchey predicted the US Open champion would continue to change coaches "frequently".Raducanu has already become known for chopping and changing her coaches quickly.
Telegraph Women’s Sport reporter Molly McElwee pointed out that Raducanu had not tanked on the tennis court after her US Open win, despite Jones’s suggestion otherwise.
"Eddie Jones calling Emma Raducanu 'the young girl who won the US Open' makes his comments all the more patronising and infuriating," she wrote on Twitter.
"Fyi, today Raducanu made her debut in the top 20 world rankings - marking a continued *upward* trajectory since her US Open win…"
Raducanu has won two out of four matches since beating Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows.
She most recently lost to Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open, citing fatigue as a reason for her loss. The Briton arrived in Austria yesterday for the Linz Open.
Emma Raducanu to spend Christmas away from home in Australian Open sacrifice .
EMMA RADUCANU has confirmed she will not be spending Christmas at home with her family in Bromley, and is choosing to remain in the Middle East to practice ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2022.Raducanu's life changed dramatically this year when she went from A Level student to US Open champion within a few months.