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January 22, 2023

Judy Murray has questioned Emma Raducanu’s excessive sponsorship commitments in light of her latest injury setback, wondering if the pressure of dealing with the biggest brands is affecting her physically.

The defending US Open champion had to retire just 33 minutes after her first match at the 2022 Nottingham Open against Viktorija Golubic with an abnormal abdominal injury. It was the third time this year the teenager had been forced to drop out of a match, leading many to criticize her, albeit unfairly, for not being able to meet the demands of the WTA tour.

In a column for The Telegraph, Judy Murray put the blame on the world No.11 side, saying it was up to them to ensure the financial gains didn’t come at the expense of her tennis career.

“Emma Raducanu’s team will be aware of all the sponsorship deals and savvy marketing campaigns she has cunningly leveraged over the past eight months,” Judy Murray wrote. “They will undoubtedly bring him huge financial rewards, but at what cost to his body?”

Emma Raducanu forced to retire after 7 games. šŸ˜”Some kind of rib/abdominal injury. Less than 3 weeks before Wimbledon. Get well soon, Emma. https://t.co/DK6kGlpgLJ

The Scot felt that just because a sponsor wants a player to play at an event to gain exposure, they shouldn’t be forced to dance to their music.

“I say that because, like most young players, it shouldn’t be about patching them up and getting them ready for the next high-level event just because a sponsor or a federation wants to make sure that their branding is visible,” Judy Murray wrote.

The 62-year-old said she hopes Emma Raducanu avoids falling into the trap of short-term gains and makes a decision that will be best for her in the long term.

“When athletes are so young, you can’t expect them to make these big decisions. They can get sucked into the short-term image and of course it can be tempting to go to all these events. lucrative,ā€ wrote Judy Murray.

“What is becoming increasingly clear is that Emma Raducanu’s body needs time to mature” – Judy Murray

Judy Murray believes Emma Raducanu needs to give her body time to adjust to the WTA tour
Judy Murray believes Emma Raducanu needs to give her body time to adjust to the WTA tour

Judy Murray went on to talk about Emma Raducanu’s fitness, saying the Brit needs to give her body time to mature. Despite her early success at the US Open last year, Murray stressed that Raducanu is still a young player adapting to the demands of high-level tennis.

“What is becoming increasingly clear is that Emma Raducanu’s body needs time to mature,” wrote Judy Murray. “If you take away the fact that she was catapulted into this incredible success after her triumph at the US Open last September, she is no different from any other young player in the sense that her body needs time to fill out, become more robust and resilient.”

Your routine reminder that Emma Raducanu is in her novice year. We can expect regular injuries for another 6 months or so while his body acclimates to life on tour. It’s not a fitness issue, it’s a TOUR fitness issue. She does the job.

The coach was of the opinion that the teenager should hire a physio, preferably a female, who understands her style of play and the demands of tennis, and can formulate the best possible training program for her.

“Players often have shared access to physios at WTA and ATP events, but I can’t underestimate how crucial it is to have someone who knows a player’s body, their style of play and understands the physical demands of tennis,” wrote Judy Murray. “It’s even more important that your team – coach, physio and physical trainer work together to coordinate the best training and competition program possible.”

Noting that the process of adapting to professional tennis requires a lot of time and commitment, the 62-year-old wished Emma Raducanu all the best for the future.

“As with any young player adjusting to the rigors of his first professional season on the tour, it’s a marathon not a sprint. It’s a process that just doesn’t happen overnight, especially when physical demands [Emma Raducanu’s] bodies are at an all time high,” Judy Murray wrote.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala


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