Emma Raducanu Miami Open 2022

Slam legend defends Emma Raducanu from ‘brutal’ and ‘relentless’ English tabloid press

Chris Evert defended Emma Raducanu from the “brutal” and “relentless” English tabloid press, claiming “to be a superstar in England is the toughest thing ever.”

19-year-old British starlet Raducanu shocked the sporting world when she became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam title when she won the US Open.

En route to her historic victory she proved herself against some of the world’s best. However, as a result expectations placed upon the young Brit increased exponentially.

Having struggled for form towards the end of last year and being blighted by numerous injuries at the start of this new season, Raducanu’s critics have grown stronger and louder.

Raducanu has also had criticism levelled at her for her various brand partnerships, with many accusing her of caring more about sponsorships than her tennis. She recently announced a $4 million (£3 million) deal with Vodafone and another partnership with Porsche.

Although she hit back at such claims, calling such accusations “unfair” and “misleading” as well as revealing that she’s at the tennis club for 12 hours a day.

Speaking to Eurosport, 18-time Slam great Chris Evert said “to be a superstar in England is the toughest thing ever for a player.

“Even tougher than being a superstar in America where there are so many¬†more athletes in other sports or being a superstar in other countries.

“I just think with the tabloids in England it’s brutal. I mean, they camp out at your doorstep if you’re a superstar. I think Emma is handling everything beautifully,” Evert believes.

“I think Emma has tennis as her number one¬†priority and she’s working hard. It’s hard when these financial opportunities come along and they’re just offered to her to turn them down, and I think that’s fine as long as her number one priority is still to improve her game.

“It’s hard when you win a Grand Slam and you’re out of the top 100. That’s a tough act to follow and she’s feeling it, but she’s just got to put her nose to the grindstone and deal with it and work her way up, and I think she’s doing that.

“She’s got a great game, and she’s got a great attitude. But it’s tough being a superstar in England, and I saw that in the last 50 years I’ve seen that with English players,” she recalled.

“The press are just different in England, they’re relentless, they build you up and then if you don’t live up to the expectations, they’re just not as supportive.

“It’s not all the press there, but the tabloids, you just have to be thick-skinned. She’s got to be thick-skinned. But I think she is.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.