Emma Raducanu has been publicly backed after Eddie Jones’ “unbelievably unfair” and sexist claim that she has lost focus since her US Open triumph. The England rugby union coach stated the Bromley teenager had suffered off-field “distractions” after becoming the first qualifier to ever win a major title.
Raducanu attended the Met Gala and the James Bond premiere before returning to the court last month. She has since won her first two matches on the regular WTA Tour – and lost two – and returned ill from her last tournament at the Transylvania Open.
Jones, 61, drew a parallel between Raducanu and his young fly-half Marcus Smith.
But TV presenter Gabby Logan, who is married to ex-Scotland winger Kenny Logan, tweeted: “Unbelievably unfair and not even remotely comparable.
“She is 18 in her first six months of being pro. She made the second week of Wimbledon and won the US Open having never played on the tour.
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“Imagine an 18-year-old rugby player winning a World Cup having never played a club game.”
The mother of three-time British Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, Judy Murray, then replied: “Beautifully put Gabby.”
Raducanu became only the fifth British woman to reach the world’s top 20 this week and will play her first event as top seed at the Upper Linz Austria Ladies on Tuesday.
She faces world No 106 Xinya Wang of China in her first match in Austria where Simona Halep, Danielle Collins and Veronika Kudermetova are fellow top-four seeds, all of whom receive a bye into the second round.
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And former British No 1 Jo Durie, who reached world No 5, said: “No-one ever complains about blokes going to galas; it’s always something that is thrown at women.
“Emma isn’t a girl; she is an 18-year-old woman. Unfortunately, when you’re this famous, everybody likes to have their opinion about you.”