Emma Raducanu She has endured a challenging start to 2023 and it looks like problems on the court are now being taken to the press room.
She refused to answer questions during her surprise interview with reporters after her first round match against Bulgaria’s Viktoria Tomova at the Madrid Open.
Radukanu has been struggling with a wrist problem in recent months and she was bound to get questions about it.
It was also an opportunity for reporters to ask the British No.1 why she had opted to withdraw from the Billie Jean King Cup clash with France earlier this month.
However, instead of answering those exact questions, Raducanu seemed reluctant to attend a media event in the Spanish capital.
Asked about her wrist problems, the 2021 US Open champion replied: “We’re managing.”
She had just 58 words to answer 16 questions before a WTA official stepped in to end the awkward stand, and she had similarly strong responses to subsequent questions.
In the year Radukanu is known for handling the media with remarkable maturity as she triumphs at the top of the game in 2021.
However, there is an increasingly negative tone to the cover as Radukanu has failed to build momentum on the WTA Tour.
There has also been a lot of negativity pouring in on the young star in recent months and she doesn’t seem to be enjoying her time in the limelight.
Barring a dramatic revival of fortunes, Radukanu could drop out of the top 100 in the WTA rankings, and her lack of experience on clay courts will ensure she won’t be able to play at her favorite venue next month.
The 20-year-old confirmed she had deleted her Instagram account from her phone, with her 2.5 million followers still one of her biggest assets in her bid to land sponsors.
However, it remains to be seen whether these A-list brands will side with Radukan if they can’t find a winning formula on the court soon.
18-time Grand Slam singles champion Chris Evert has been backed by some of the biggest names in the game to convince the youngster to win major titles again.
“I think the mental part and the physical part go hand in hand. I think the mental part is more important than the physical part, if not more important,” Evert said Eurosport.
“I don’t know her well enough to answer that question, but I think I see a little determination in her eyes, and I know she’s not a flash in the pan.
“I think she’s here to stay, and she’s here to compete with Cocoa and the big players. And I don’t know what her ranking is now, but she’ll definitely be a top ten player.
She had a tough run after winning the US Open and after a while I don’t think she really knew what had happened to her, and everyone was really firing, and she played a little scared.
I loved how aggressive and brave she was in Indian Wells and how she would hit the ball and not be afraid to shoot. She is really going for her shots and matches the power of some very powerful players.
“I think there’s been enough time since the US Open where you take a deep breath and that was then, this is now, and that’s what I have to do.
“We hope she doesn’t get emotional about it and doesn’t let the pressure get to her.
“Now she’s starting at the bottom here[in the rankings]and she’s only got one place to go, and that’s up.
“Her game probably doesn’t break down like other players do under pressure. She is very strong and very short and moves well and plays athletic tennis.
“So it’s tough on the tour right now, but I think she’s going to have a better year than last year.
“Women’s tennis is very deep right now. There is no one player who dominates, but there are many players who can win a one-day tournament and win a major.
Read more: It’s time to stop the social media hate flowing in Emma Raducanu’s direction.