Emma Raducanu: Eye-catching and attention-grabbing on court, headline-maker off it.

Raducanu’s 2024 run at Wimbledon was consistent with what’s been a theme for her fledgling tennis career ever since first dazzling at the All England Club three years ago when reaching the fourth round as an 18-year-old debutant, prior to stunning the watching world when winning the US Open two months later.

In 2021, when Raducanu pulled out of her fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic on Centre Court due to breathing problems, Piers Morgan tweeted that the teenager “couldn’t handle the pressure” and needed to “toughen up”.

McEnroe told the truth. Ms Raducuna’s a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure & quit when she was losing badly. Not ‘brave’, just a shame. If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was.

She’s drawn criticism for the regularity in which she’s hired and fired coaches, with five coming and going over her first two years in tennis before settling on current companion Nick Cavaday.

In 2023, Raducanu said after an opening victory in Indian Wells that she did not know when Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals qualifying tie with France was, prompting captain Anne Kheothavong to post on social media: “My communication skills are generally good in case anyone was wondering.”

Raducanu would be prove to be ‘unavailable’ for the April clash, though did help the team into the finals this year.

There have been the injuries – Raducanu missed the best part of nine months in 2023 after having surgery on both wrists and her left ankle – while she also pulled out of the French Open this year, having said “mentally and emotionally, I was exhausted” following a straight-sets exit to Maria Lourdes Carle in the first round of the Madrid Open.

This week, there’s been the fallout from Raducanu’s decision to withdraw from her mixed doubles pairing with Andy Murray at his last Wimbledon, a move his mum Judy branded as ‘astonishing’ in a post on X, before later clarifying she was being sarcastic.

Raducanu cited a sore wrist as behind the decision, prioritising her fourth-round singles match on Sunday. And despite losing out to New Zealand qualifier Lulu Sun, Raducanu stood by her decision, labelling it a “no-brainer”.

It’s one of the most impressive things about the 21-year-old, along with her undoubted ability – the courage of her convictions.

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