Emma Raducanu unlikely to be fazed by Eddie Jones criticism as she returns to action at Linz Open

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu looks unlikely to fazed by the criticism of England rugby coach Eddie Jones when she returns to court in Linz for her last tournament of a remarkable season later today.

Jones had suggested Raducanu’s form had dipped since her shock US Open win through distractions with photo shoots and sponsors.

But the British No1 insisted her focus was merely on court. “I just really want to have fun this week and try and enjoy it,” she said, “because it’s the last one of the season and I feel like I’m really in a positive mind space.”

The 18-year-old has played just two tournaments since New York, losing in the second round in Indian Wells and then reaching the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open.

 (AP)
(AP)

Despite being ranked No1 at the Linz Open, she said: “It’s cool but I haven’t really looked at seedings. I never looked at seedings even when I was unranked, playing a seed in a tournament.

“It meant nothing to me so I’m sure it means nothing to the other players. It’s just as much motivation if not more to take out a seed.”

Speaking in the wake of England’s win at Twickenham over Tonga and an impressive cameo from rising star Marcus Smith, Jones had drawn parallels with Raducanu.

He had said: “The big thing for young players is distractions. Distractions can be the exposure they get in the media, he praise and the criticism they get, groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.

“There’s a reason why the girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards. What have you seen her on? The front page of Vogue, the front page of Harper’s Bazaar, whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes.”

Raducanu is unlikely to have paid much attention to the comments ahead of taking on world No106 Wang Xinyu, who has won three matches to set up her tie with the Briton.

Speaking prior to Jones’ comments, Raducanu had said: “I don’t read any of the news or keep in touch with that much.”

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