Emma Raducanu


EMMA RADUCANU has struggled since her famous US Open triumph last year, and heads into Wimbledon with injury fears.

Emma Raducanu’s agent, Max Eisenbud, has insisted the teenager’s growing list of sponsorship deals is not having a negative effect on her on-court performances, as he explained why she has struggled to find her form recently.

Raducanu burst onto the scene last year when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon as a wildcard. She then followed that up by creating history with her US Open success, becoming the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam singles title.

In the process, she also became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade’s 1977 Wimbledon win. The victory catapulted Raducanu into superstardom and sparked huge interest in her from sponsors.

The 19-year-old has worked with the likes of Nike, Tiffany and Porsche and recently announced a new partnership with HSBC. On the court, however, she has struggled since her US Open victory.


In an appearance on the BBC’s ‘The Sports Desk’ podcast, Eisenbud said: “We could have done 50 days of shoots. I’ve never seen the amount of excitement and companies that wanted to be in business with Emma after the US Open.

“It’s been a tough year. I think she got a lot of bad luck and what really hurt her was [catching] Covid and not having a great off-season, and then she was playing catch up.

“But I think that if she had zero shoot dates, everything would be the same. I know from the outside, you guys want to look at all those things – but if she locked herself in the room for the whole year and didn’t do anything, I think it would be the same.”

Speaking in March, Raducanu said: “Maybe you just see, on the news or on social media, me signing this or that deal and I feel like it’s quite misleading because I’m doing five, six hours a day [of training], I’m at the club for 12 hours a day. But I throw out one post in the car on the way to practice and all of a sudden it’s ‘I don’t focus on tennis’.

“I think that it is unfair but it’s something I have learned to deal with and become a bit more insensitive to the outside noise. At the end of the day, I feel like my days [with sponsors] are pretty limited. I’m not doing crazy days. I’m doing three, four days every quarter, so it’s really not that much.”

The governing body of British tennis has stepped in to provide funding to prevent the permanent closure of Wirral Tennis and Sports Centre.

The governing body of British tennis has stepped in to save a Wirral tennis centre where women’s US Open champion Emma Raducanu once competed.

The Lawn Tennis Association will provide funding for the survival and “long term sustainable future” of Wirral Tennis and Sports Centre (WTSC) and other tennis facilities in the borough.

It had been expected last week that Wirral Council would move to sign off on proposals to permanently close the WTSC in Bidston in a bid to save the authority much needed cash.

However, the council’s tennis provision will remain after the LTA, who wrote to the local authority in February asking it to pause any decision on the future of the centre, agreed to underwrite funding for the service

LTA Youth Ambassador and British tennis talisman Raducanu moved the youth stages programme at the WTSC centre.

The LTA will now work with Wirral Council to appoint an operator to exclusively manage the six indoor courts and three outdoor courts.

The governing body devised a package that will both deliver the required level of saving at the site together with a wider package of investment funding on Wirral both at WTSC and in outdoor courts across the borough.


What’s been said
Oxton Liberal Democrat Cllr Alan Brame said he was “delighted” the courts would remain open as there had been “clear demand” for the provision to be retained.

In a statement, an LTA spokesperson said: “We’re very pleased that the council accepted our plans to reopen Wirral Tennis Centre, and ensure it had a long term sustainable future.

“This decision will safeguard vital indoor tennis facilities and we are now working hard on plans to re-open the centre in September.”

Wirral Council budget issues
The move to close sites is part of Wirral Council’s savings programme of £20m to plug its financial gaps.

Golf courses, libraries and a leisure centre across the borough were given a stay of execution from permanent closure last week.

The local authority’s tourism, communities, culture and leisure committee moved ahead with proposals to progress a number of sites toward the next stage of community asset transfers in a bid to keep them open.

Among the locations spared from permanent shut down were Brackenwood and Hoylake golf courses, with golf’s leading body, the Royal and Ancient (R&A) stepping in to call for Hoylake to be saved.

It was said by the R&A that the Hoylake course “is a key part of The Open Golf Championship infrastructure and without it they cannot stage this global event. In investment terms the Open is worth approximately £100m to the Wirral and Liverpool City Region economy.”

Reports will be drawn up on the progress of the next stage of the asset transfer process to report back to the committee in October.

EMMA RADUCANU will return to the All England Club 12 months after her Grand Slam debut as the US Open champion.

Andy Murray has known as at the media to permit Emma Raducanu “be who she is” as the 19-yr-vintage prepares for her homecoming at Wimbledon. The Bromley local made her Grand Slam debut as a wildcard at the match a year in the past, storming into the second one week, before turning into the primary qualifier to win a major name at america Open weeks later.

Raducanu is preparing for her first Wimbledon since becoming a top 15 player and Grand Slam champion. The teenager has already sparked injury concern with a spate of issues and niggles in the last few months, including at the recent Nottingham Open, but looks set to be fit for a return to the All England Club.

In the midst of her first British grass court season since her unprecedented US Open win, Murray has issued a plea after sharing his own experiences of being judged early in his career. “I think there needs to be a level of trust and respect between the player and the media,” he told Matt Graveling.

“I also had problems early in my career where maybe certain things that I said got taken out of context or jokes that I might have made turned into big stories and big headlines where it turned things a bit sour and negative.” Defending the 19-year-old, he added: “Just let her be who she is, and you know, she might say some things that are a joke or that she maybe doesn’t mean or whatever.”

Emma Raducanu

Murray had faced some criticism for making jokes about the rivalry between Scotland and England early on in his career, and issued a reminder that athletes made the same mistakes as normal teenagers. He continued: “There’s a few people in this room I’m sure when they were 18, 19, made some mistakes and did some things they shouldn’t have done and said some things they definitely shouldn’t have said, and athletes are the same.

“We will make mistakes and say the wrong thing at times but just maybe don’t judge us too harshly when we do that and I’m sure that would help Emma a little bit.”

While Raducanu is looking to recover from a side injury she picked up in Nottingham last week, Murray himself has been struck down ahead of Wimbledon. The world No 47 suffered an ab injury during his Stuttgart final against Matteo Berrettini.

A scan showed it was a strain with the two-time Wimbledon champion hoping to be back at the All England Club in less than two weeks but he was forced to pull out of Queen’s this week and has ruled himself out of next week’s ATP 250 event in Eastbourne though is open to playing an exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club.

EMMA RADUCANU appeared to be enjoying some chemistry with a French motorbiking legend, which has set alight the curiosity of Instagram fans.

Tennis ace Emma Raducanu, 19, and French biker Fabio Quartararo, who is just four years her senior, have been kindling a friendship on social media recently – and eagle-eyed fans who discovered their connection are hoping it might lead to something more. It is believed the pair may have connected over their shared love of biking, something which Emma had developed a passion for while growing up.

Wimbledon champ Emma received a lobster emoji from Fabio on one of her posts, leaving fans to query whether he might have been “fishing” for her attention.

The biking star is flagged by some as a strong contender to win the world MotoGP championship.

Meanwhile, Emma raced motorbikes and go-karts as a child ahd has described herself in the past in a true “adrenalin junkie”, so it’s clear that she and Fabio have something in common.

It was quite intimidating in the beginning to get out of my shell and actually begin to really enjoy what I was doing because I was so scared

Emma Raducanu

Yet the subject of speculation is whether their chats might already have blossomed into a romance.

Emma told the world that her childhood had involved motorbiking and dirt biking via her Romanian father, who gave her the encouragement that it was okay not to conform to traditional gender roles.

“He’s all about being different and not caring what other people may have thought,” she told Vogue magazine about his role in her passion.

“When I was younger, I was the only girl in my group karting or doing motocross, and I thought it was pretty cool.”

Motorsports only took a back seat in her life when she began to achieve success in competitive tennis and had to centre it on her calendar.

However, she has firmly insisted she still intends to get her motorbiking license.

Earlier this year, she also got atop a dirt bike on the Canada Heights track in Kent for an advertising campaign.

She was representing Nike, with whom she has a £100,000 sponsorship deal.

The motocross fanatic filmed her progress on the bike using a selfie stick, and the subsequent photos went viral.

Now, with a biking pro like Fabio there for her, her hobby no doubt has the potential to blossom even further.

“The whole squad I was in was all boys,” she explained.

“It was quite intimidating in the beginning to get out of my shell and actually begin to really enjoy what I was doing because I was so scared.”

Despite her career’s challenges, Emma has many admirers and supporters in her corner, receiving unexpected tweets of support from rocker Liam Gallagher and even astronaut Tim Peake.

Romantically, she had previously been linked to YouTuber and Strictly Come Dancing star HRVY.

However, despite him gushing publicly that she was “amazing”, the Wimbledon champ unfollowed him on Instagram a mere matter of weeks later.

Now the face of Porsche, with a well-publicised appetite for supercars, Emma’s thrill-seeking hobbies continue.

Last week, she suffered a temporary setback when she was forced to withdraw from the Italian Open in Rome last week with a back injury, just hours into her match with Bianca Andreescu.

She hopes to be back out on the court in the months to come.