Emma Raducanu has defended her commitment to tennis amid the “unfair” response to her growing list of sponsorship deals. The US Open champion suffered a frustrating second-round loss to Katerina Sinaiakova at the Miami Open on Thursday, bringing her hard-court campaign to an end until later this summer.
Following the defeat, some comments on social media again highlighted her growing list of commercial partners. Porsche announced a deal with the 19-year-old at the start of this week but the British No 1 insists her main priority is improving results on the court.
“Maybe you just see, on the news or on social media, me signing this or that deal and I feel like it’s quite misleading because I’m doing five, six hours a day [of training], I’m at the club for 12 hours a day,” Raducanu told various national newspapers.
“But I throw out one post in the car on the way to practice and all of a sudden it’s ‘I don’t focus on tennis’. I think that it is unfair but it’s something I have learned to deal with and become a bit more insensitive to the outside noise.
“At the end of the day, I feel like my days [with sponsors] are pretty limited. I’m not doing crazy days. I’m doing three, four days every quarter, so it’s really not that much.”
Since a remarkable victory as a qualifier at Flushing Meadows in September, Raducanu has found life difficult on the WTA tour. A bout of coronavirus in the winter affected her training programme going into the new campaign and now the world No 13 will take a step into the unknown with the clay-court season – a surface she is most unfamiliar with – on the horizon.
New partner Porsche revealed on Monday that Raducanu would be involved in next month’s Stuttgart Open, a tournament sponsored by the German manufacturer. Before that she will represent Great Britain in a Billie Jean King Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in Prague across the 15-16 of April.