Tennis boss' major warning over billion-dollar Emma Raducanu call
British teenager Emma Raducanu might be the hottest property in women's tennis right now, but her historic US Open triumph and whirlwind rise to superstardom has come with a number of warnings.
The 18-year-old from England shocked the tennis world this week after becoming the first qualifier in history to win the US Open title.
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The extraordinary accomplishment saw her pocket $3.4 million in prize money, rise from 150th to 23rd in the WTA rankings, as well as double her Instagram following to 1.9 million.
Sponsors will now be lining up to get on board with Raducanu, who will undoubtedly become the 'it' girl of tennis.
Publicist Mark Borkowski this week said Raducanu could unlock a staggering $1 billion in earnings across her career, as a result of the life-changing grand slam.
Yet despite the newfound fame and fortune, Britain's Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Scott Lloyd says it won't detract from Raducanu's rise up the tennis rankings.
However, he did stress the importance of shielding the young Brit from the intense and often suffocating glare of the world's spotlight, insisting the teenager needs to be given "breathing space".
"Obviously, on the back of New York, Emma's life outside the court has been turned upside-down but she is a very grounded person with great values and a great family behind her," said Lloyd.
"It will take some adjustment and she will need some breathing space. There will be bumps in the road, and there will be times next year when she is going to have a target on her back, and she will have to get used to that.
"Like everybody in top-level sport, she may have some difficulties in sustaining this level of performance but she has shown she has the capability to go on and do that."
Raducanu faced criticism from some quarters when she retired from Wimbledon with breathing difficulties after her charge to the fourth round captured the world's attention.
Tennis great John McEnroe was among those to voice his concerns after Wimbledon and doubled down on his comments after Raducanu's US Open success.
"I'm sure there was a lot of concern in the British Tennis Association (sic), how she is going to handle this sort of new-found fame," McEnroe said.
But Lloyd said he never had doubts over Raducanu's ability to learn from her experience at Wimbledon, adding: "I wasn't concerned how Emma would deal with that because she is a fast learner, she is focused and she is physically and mentally strong.
"It's natural at that juncture to feel waves of emotion and in particular the physical demands that that kind of environment puts on you.
"I don't believe anyone at the top of their professional career doesn't go through difficult losses or difficult moments on court, but she has already shown that she can move on from that and use it to her advantage."
Emma Raducanu tipped to become billion-dollar star
It comes after renowned publicist Borkowski, who has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, said Raducanu had the potential to earn $1 billion on and off the court.
“Potentially, I see her as a billion dollar girl,” he told The Sun.
“She’s everything that is really positive about the new icons that this age has got to throw up.
“In the conflicting culture wars, here we have someone who is young, incredibly talented, has a multicultural background.
"Everything about her is what every brand would like to get their hands on right now.
"The way she handled the Wimbledon incident, the way she’s come back, the way she tackles interviews, the way the crowd responds to her, the way she plays the game … if she is as good as the form suggests the sky is the limit.
“You get a sense with Emma that she’s got a really powerful personality to go along with the talent.”
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