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Raducanu: "Brutal" Tour Filled With "Sharks"

By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Sunday, June 18, 2023

Navigating life on the WTA Tour is like swimming with sharks, Emma Raducanu says.

The 2021 US Open champion told The Sunday Times the pro circuit can be "completely brutal" and is not a "a very nice, trusting and safe space."

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Raducanu, who is recovering from surgeries to both hands and her ankle she underwent last month, said she's learned some hard lessons since her Cinderella run to her maiden title at the 2021 US Open.

The 150th-ranked Briton made history as the first player—man or woman—to play through qualifying and capture a Grand Slam singles title.

The 20-year-old Raducanu said some "sharks" in the tennis industry view her as "a piggy bank" rather than a person and have tried to cash in on her early success.


A post shared by Emma. (@emmaraducanu)

"I had to mature very quickly," Raducanu told The Sunday Times. "When I won I was extremely naive. What I have realized in the past two years, the tour and everything that comes with it, it's not a very nice, trusting and safe space.

"You have to be on guard because there are a lot of sharks out there. I think people in the industry, especially with me because I was 19, now 20, they see me as a piggy bank."

'It has been difficult to navigate. I have been burnt a few times. I have learned, keep your circle as small as possible."

Since capturing the 2021 US Open, the 128th-ranked Raducanu has been riddled with injury and cycled through several coaches. Raducanu, who has posted a 24-27 record since her remarkable Flushing Meadows triumph, said adapting to life on the WTA Tour has been both a physical and mental challenge.

"I was struggling with the physical pain but the mental side of it was really difficult for me, too," Raducanu said. "If I lost a match, I would be really down. I was under so much pressure to perform, people had no idea what was going on and I had to have this facade.

"I am very young and still learning and making mistakes. It is a lot harder when you are making mistakes in front of everyone… the tour is completely brutal."

Photo credit: Matthew Calves