Cutting back on social media could be helping tennis' Emma Raducanu get back on her game at Indian Wells

Emma Raducanu has become a superstar in both the sporting and fashion worlds (Pic:Getty)Emma Raducanu has become a superstar in both the sporting and fashion worlds (Pic:Getty)
Emma Raducanu has become a superstar in both the sporting and fashion worlds (Pic:Getty) | Getty Images
Emma Raducanu has failed to win a big tournament since being crowned champ at the US Open in 2021 but could be back on track in 2023

The date is September 12 2021 and 18-year-old Emma Raducanu has written the end to her perfect fairy tale by beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final and making tennis history.

Not only had Emma become the first female British champ to win a singles Grand Slam title since 1977 but she also became the first woman in the Open Era to win a main draw appearance in so few attempts. The New York competition was only Emma’s second Grand Slam entry and her fourth senior tournament.

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In addition to the $2.5 million cheque, the world number one ranking at the time and the potential for global marketing deals worth billions , Emma became an overnight superstar in the sporting world and beyond.

Sports stars such as Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford shared their excitement, while royalty, both TV and monarchy, offered their congratulations including Ant and Dec and Kate Middleton.

Raducanu won BBC SPOTY 2021 following her US Open success (Pic:Getty)Raducanu won BBC SPOTY 2021 following her US Open success (Pic:Getty)
Raducanu won BBC SPOTY 2021 following her US Open success (Pic:Getty) | Getty Images

Further tributes were made with Oasis star Liam Gallagher describing Emma as a ‘celestial talent’ and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker stating the teenager was ‘joyous’ to watch.

However, one famous face who was taken by Emma’s immense performance was tennis fan and fashion icon Anna Wintour, who ended up inviting both Emma and Leylah Fernandez to the Met Gala just two days after the final.

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Emma seemingly became tucked under the wing of the Vogue Editor-In-Chief as she served a look on the red carpet at the Met in Chanel, with a source stating: “Anna invited both Emma and Leylah, [but] it was Emma who was dressed in Chanel, though [the label Wintour herself usually wears] and was seated at the Chanel table - and Anna signs off on every look and every detail.” 

The pair were then reportedly seen on the same flight from New York back to London before the Kent-born tennis star appeared in the pages of British Vogue. 

Emma Raducanu wore Chanel to the 2021 Met Gala (Pic:Getty)Emma Raducanu wore Chanel to the 2021 Met Gala (Pic:Getty)
Emma Raducanu wore Chanel to the 2021 Met Gala (Pic:Getty) | Getty Images for The Met Museum/

Emma said ‘ready, set, match’ to the fashion world since her Met Gala appearance, as she has become an ambassador for Tiffany and Co after wearing the jewels to the No Time To Die movie premiere and attended multiple fashion shows including Dior.

It must be noted, prior to Emma’s fairy tale ending in New York City, the then-18-year-old had done deals with Nike and had been represented by global talent management company IMG throughout her junior years.

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You could say that Emma’s progression to being one of the younger faces in the fashion industry at the time was natural, but did it come at a cost to her tennis performance?

Throughout 2022 Emma was unsuccessful in pulling another Grand Slam win out of the bag, or any tournaments needless to say; only managing to get through to one semi-final and three quarter-finals.

The young star had picked up several injuries at the start of the season last year in her wrist, leg and back meaning she had to withdraw or retire from multiple matches, before she was diagnosed with tonsillitis.

Some would suggest that Emma had been unlucky with health issues prior to her US Open appearance as she had to retire from her first Wimbledon in 2021 due to breathing difficulties, just as her rise to prominence began from her WTA debut.

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Fans hoped that Emma could turn her luck around as the 2023 season got underway, but the Great Britain tennis player had to leave the court in Auckland on 5 January after she rolled her ankle.

However, fairy tales have all sorts of twists and turns and Emma may actually be on the road to redemption as she sailed through to the final 16 at the Indian Wells tournament in March. 

Emma Raducanu of Great Britain will be competing on the grass courts this summer ahead of WimbledonEmma Raducanu of Great Britain will be competing on the grass courts this summer ahead of Wimbledon
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain will be competing on the grass courts this summer ahead of Wimbledon

This arc could be attributed to Rio 2016 Olympic champion Monica Puig who, in February, urged Emma not to spend time on social media anymore and instead focus wholly on the sport.

Emma said: “After the AO [Australian Open] I deleted WhatsApp and Instagram off my phone, and after that, I've been living under my own little rock.”

Emma Raducanu will next play Poland’s Iga Świątek in the Indian Wells last 16 on 15 March 2023 (3am GMT).

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