Since her victory at the US Open, it is easy to imagine that Emma Raducanu has been immensely in demand. She has become the sensation that all the media are snapping up on. At 18, she will have to face a fame as sudden as it is unexpected. It must be said that her spontaneity, her broad smile and her attitude on the court have touched the hearts of millions of fans and many sports marketing experts believe that she has the potential to be one of the most radiant athletes in the world. this domain.
Raducanu is not the first young player to win a Grand Slam title out of nowhere. But the previous examples have proven that the sudden notoriety that follows the title is not always a blessing. “I often say that we are prepared to manage failure, but not necessarily success”, suggests Daria Abramowicz, sports psychologist who works in particular with Iga Swiatek who won Roland-Garros at 19 years old.
“From a psychological point of view, the hardest part in high performance sport is to adapt to this new reality. “ Swiatek’s victory at Roland Garros in 2020 changed his life overnight, he said. She had had to deal with a new celebrity, new financial offers and a lot of media solicitation.
We can see in particular through the example of Naomi Osaka the weight of such a change of life. At 23, four Grand Slam titles in her pocket, the Japanese spoke of her distress, her mental health problems linked to the weight of expectations and decided to take a long break without tennis. To cope, those around Raducanu will have a very important role to play. The Briton will be able to count on his agent Max Eisenbud, the man who made Maria Sharapova one of the richest athletes in the world after her victory at Wimbledon when she was 18 years old.
But if the world is going to change around Emma Raducanu, it will also change on the other side of the net. “The other players will be used to her game, they will try to find her weaknesses, they will no longer be surprised by her tactical choices. His matches will be analyzed, everyone is doing that now ”, adds Abramowicz. Also, Raducanu, who was used to ITF qualifiers and tournaments, will dive into the big bath.
The US Open was perhaps a magical parenthesis, but now it will find on the circuit an adversity such as it has never known on a daily basis. This is why it will surely be necessary to be patient between the moment of the revelation and that of the confirmation.
Serena Williams had to wait three years before lifting her second Grand Slam trophy. (LUTTIAU / The Team)
The recent past points in this direction. After his success at Roland Garros, Swiatek only reached a quarter-final in the Grand Slam. And what about comet Jelena Ostapenko, victorious at Roland Garros in 2017 before disappearing from the radar? In 2019, Bianca Andreescu caused a sensation by winning the US Open. But the Canadian, admittedly often injured, has not won a title since.
The case of Serena Williams also pleads in favor of patience. Victorious of the US Open 1999 at 17, she had to wait three years and Roland-Garros 2002 to return to victory in the Grand Slam. Raducanu will therefore have to be patient and accept less happy days, like those who follow and surround her.