Emma Raducanu hits back at Eddie Jones comments

Emma Raducanu hit back at rugby coach Eddie Jones' comments that she had too many off-field distractions

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Emma Raducanu will take on Sloane Stephens in the first round of Australian Open

US Open champion Emma Raducanu hit back at England rugby union coach coach Eddie Jones comments, saying she was not going to cancel a single training session for off-court commitments.

Jones recently said that he hopes young rugby talent Marcus Smith away from the ‘distractions’ that he believes have followed Emma Raducanu since her US Open win.

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“The big thing for good young players is distractions,” Jones explained.

“There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards.

“What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes. All that is a distraction around her. It might not be to that degree with Marcus, but potentially it could be.”

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Raducanu had created a stir when she became the first qualifier, male or female, to win a major. She defeated fellow teen Leylah Fernandez in the final to clinch the 2021 US Open.

The 18-year-old has since attended the MET Gala, the James Bond premier and been associated with elite brands like Tiffany.

Non-negotiable

The Brit, who is playing at the WTA event in Linz this week, said she would never compromise on her training to raise her off-court profile.

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“I made it very, very clear to every single person in my team that I was not going to cancel one training session or practice session for any off-court commitments,” Raducanu said.

“That was a non-negotiable for me. I wanted to make sure that that is my priority, and it is. So everyone is clear about that.

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“But it’s just managing my time with the commitments around that. Even if it’s not off-court events or whatever, I’m still doing my WTA rookie hours for example.”

‘Give her time’

Former World No 1 Justine Henin said the youngster must be given time and space to bloom.

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“Everything has gone very, very fast here in the span of a few weeks, between Wimbledon and the US Open,” Henin told Eurosport.

“We’ll have to give this player time because she’s going to have a lot to deal with, especially her image. Today, I would like to say, it is potentially one of the greatest dangers for a player’s career.”

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