Emma Raducanu hits back at Eddie Jones criticism after defeat in Austria
Emma Raducanu insists she is "staying focussed" upon her tennis career in a blunt response to criticism from England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones.
The teenager shot to stardom as a shock winner of the US Open in September, flying up the world rankings and becoming the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam title.
Life as a major title winner has been tough for her so far, though, as she lost her first match at Indian Wells, was knocked out in the quarter finals of the Transylvania Open and this week was dumped out of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz – all to players below her in the rankings.
Her poor form since leaving New York led to England coach Jones firing criticism her way.
"The big thing for good young players is distractions, the distractions could be the exposure they get in the media, the praise they get, the criticism they get,” he said. "There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.
"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."
After being knocked out of the tournament in Linz by world number 106 Wang Xinyu on Tuesday, Raducanu was given the chance to address the 61-year-old's comments.
She insisted she had not had her head turned by the swathe of commercial opportunities that have come her way since winning the US Open.
"I think that many people are going to have opinions of me and what I’m doing," the 18-year-old said.
"I just know I’m staying focused with a small circle around me. I have my parents, who would 100 per cent let me know if I was getting swayed. I am very zoned in."
The biggest sideshow since Raducanu's win at Flushing Meadows has been her search for a new coach.
She dispensed of Andrew Richardson's services just two weeks after winning the US Open, saying she wanted to bring in someone with experience at a higher level as she looked to build on that success.
After a long process, Raducanu has now hired Torben Beltz as the man to take her forward.
The German has spent three separate spells coaching major winner Angelique Kerber, including during the 2016 season in which she won the Australian and US Open titles, reached the final at Wimbledon and clinched Olympic silver.
Raducanu said she was "very excited" to work with a man who "brings a lot of experience" to her team.
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