Negativity has been hovering over Emma Raducanu for the past year, but former British No. 1 Andrew Castle believes the criticism hurled in her direction is misplaced.
Raducanu is set to be out of action after undergoing surgery to correct a wrist problem that has plagued her for almost a year.The 2021 US Open champion has confirmed she will undergo ankle surgery and miss the French Open and the tournament. Wimbledon this summer.
While the timing of the 20-year-old’s return to action remains to be seen, Castle’s time away from the game will give Raducanu a chance to recharge her batteries after the upheaval in her post-US Open life.
Scoundrels on social media seemed to enjoy Raducanu’s fall from fame, using the lucrative sponsorship deals she signed after her win at Flushing Meadows as evidence that she often took her eye off the tennis ball.
However, respected broadcaster Castle has urged Radukan’s critics to tone down their venom, as he has expressed a certain perspective on her story.
«Everybody seems to have an opinion on her one way or another,» Castle told Tennis365 at the Game4Padel event.
“When you’re on tour, especially when you become famous so quickly and your life changes overnight, it’s not easy.
“If people look back on the last year or two of their lives and think about what happened, it’s probably a lot.
“For Emma, that’s multiplied a million times. She went head-to-head for the Grand Slam champion and all the craziness that goes with it.
“Are they my friends?” she asked. How do I contact them and will they contact me because I’m famous?
“Her relationships with family members, her new position in the world, her dramatically changed financial situation.
«Add in her celebrity status, talking to the cameras and she’s a young woman dealing with it all on her own.
I think it will take a lot of adjustment and even if she doesn’t recover from the form she showed in New York, she still has a very good career.
“My message is to relax. Give her some time and try and enjoy everything.”
Castle Raducanu believes she can return to the tour with a fresh mind if she resolves her fitness issues, adding issues around her sponsorship deal and changing coaching positions regularly should not be overlooked.
«She might get to the point where she says she’s going unaccompanied,» he added. “No coach, no nutritionist and just try and enjoy the experience of playing in these big events.
«We’ve seen what Emma Raducanu can produce when she relaxes and plays freely. We hope to see her again.»
In a post on her social media, Radukanu confirmed that she has undergone surgery on her wrist and will undergo a second surgery on the other wrist in the coming days.
She will have a procedure on her ankle and will be out of the top 100 in the WTA rankings when she returns to action.