The “Symptom of Raducanu”: tennis, youth and pressure. What the hell is happening? | Sports

The “Symptom of Raducanu”: tennis, youth and pressure. What the hell is happening? | Sports

A cocktail of tennis, pressure and youth. A symptom: Emma Raducanu. And an open question, because since the Briton made history last year in New York by becoming the first player to win the tournament in the preliminary phase, without losing a single set, at only 18 years old and having only played one match in the top flight so far, the circuit and the fans are wondering: What the hell is going on with her and this good handful of the new generation of tennis players who are impacting and disappear like shooting stars?

Different theories are circulating. There are those who allude (professionals and specialists) to the fact that today’s effort culture leaves much to be desired, or that technology has taken over their lives and directly affects their appetite for competition and generates a lack of stimulation; there are those who say (the technicians) that, quite simply, their level is well below that of the previous batches; and behind closed doors, they and they (also the trainers) affirm that everything responds to the “process” since the media pressure nowadays ends up devouring boys and girls with exceptional talent. Among the amalgam of interpretations weighs the theory that tennis is a crusher of fragile souls and spirits due to its torrid annual demand.

Meanwhile, Raducanu, born in London to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, continues in free fall – she lost in the first round in New York to Alize Cornet, 13 years her senior – and without answering the enormous expectations aroused by his irruption. one year ago. He conquered Flushing Meadows, climbed into the Noble Zone of the ranking, posed in countless publications and, with the 18 million dollars he charged last year (17.9 euros), he climbed the list of Forbes magazine to the sixth position in the field of tennis, only for behind Federer, Osaka, Serena, Nadal and Djokovic; In parallel, he excited dull tennis in the United Kingdom, in lack of references.

However, the explosion was as visible as the deterioration in his performance. caressed him Top 10, but today it is the 79th in the world; this path gave way in the second round in Australia, at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and in the first of the US Open; and since he was crowned a year ago, the first falls in tournaments are frequent and he has more defeats (16) than victories (13). Since then until today, four coaches have passed through his bench, without getting any to take off again, let alone shine.

“I have a goal. When you are up there, everyone wants to beat you and I have to accept it, ”he explained after his farewell to Paris. “But I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I’m not afraid to start over. I think everything that happens on this trip had to happen,” he commented before competing this week at Flushing Meadows. “For a 19-year-old, it hasn’t been a bad year. If a year ago they had told me it was going to be in the top 100, I would have bought it. Maybe it’s good to start from scratch,” he said after Tuesday’s loss to Cornet.

She is far from the only one to suffer from altitude sickness. Leylah Fernandez, her rival in the final last year, also admitted that at 19 it was not easy to digest the rush, as happened to Bianca Andreescu (winner in 2019) or in Osaka she -same. The Japanese, eliminated in the first round by Danielle Collins, has been suffering for a long time and says that at the moment she has a great inner “chaos”. Hypothetical figures come and go. Not only in the women’s circuit, but also in the men’s. Kyrgios seems to be a hopeless case and other young people who have come to eat the world have chickened out.

get lost to find

Reasons for this newspaper Garbiñe Muguruza, who knows perfectly the round trip route to success. “When such a high expectation is created, it’s not sustainable because being so young, it’s not possible to maintain such a high level of tennis. It takes a step, there are plenty of examples of people who were very good and then who had potholes, then who came back”, concedes the Spaniard, who arrived in the Wimbledon final at 21, and who conquered Roland Garros with 22 and the Major Londoner with 23 years; “I think that’s totally normal and I think you have to deal with those cases because they immediately put you on a high, and then… That’s what it is. That’s how it works Company and how everything works, and it is very difficult to control it. We have to go through it and come back.”

And Paula Badosa is also arguing. “The Raducanu affair is a real madness. There are many young women who play very well, but it is very difficult for a career to always go in a straight line,” explains the 24-year-old Catalan who, after winning Roland Garros junior in 2015, suffered from a depression that almost took her away from tennis. “Sooner or later you have to go through a crisis in anticipation. His thing is quite normal, because it is very difficult to carry and it is very easy to get distracted. Then they recover the level, because they are very good , but you have to go through this process of getting lost in order to find yourself,” he adds.

Raducanu surrounded by fans in New York.JULIEN FINNEY (AFP)

With her stroke in Queens, Raducanu became the first British woman to win a major in 44 years. She was chosen by the BBC as a sports personality last year and has signed contracts with companies such as British Airways, Porsche, Dior, Evian and Tiffany. Drag two and a half million followers on Instagram. Everybody wants it, everybody wants it. And, quite a few voices insinuate that the commercial nebula has confused him.

“Maybe you can see in the news or on social media that I’ve signed such-and-such a deal, and I think that’s quite misleading because five or six hours a day and I’m at the club during 12”, defends the English, who studies the economy; But if I post a Publish in the car on the way to practice, suddenly it’s like, “I’m not focusing on tennis”. I think it’s unfair, but it’s something I’ve learned to deal with. I am more insensitive to outside noises. i do things [con los patrocinadores] every trimester, so it’s really not that bad.”

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