Tennis Prose



Raducanu Considers Forfeiting US Open Title

By Scoop Malinowski

2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu said this week, “Sometimes I wish I’d never won the US Open.”

It may be the only time in tennis history, a Grand Slam champion has revealed their dream come true moment also was in some aspects also a nightmare. Raducanu added that the presence of “sharks” in the tennis universe have contributed to her mixed emotions about her short but legendary tennis career. The British woman won the US Open as a qualifier, winning three qualifying rounds and seven main draw round matches without losing a set, that’s ten matches and twenty sets of superb flawless tennis in just her second Grand Slam conquest as an 18 year old virtual unknown.

Raducanu didn’t specify who the “sharks” are that have haunted her career with a year and a half of mediocre results. These “sharks” could be money-driven coaches looking out for their own self interests, backstabbing jealous WTA players envious of all the attention and endorsement millions invested into Emma, or the relentless hounding media which makes a headline story out of everything Emma does or doesn’t do.

It’s not known for sure if Raducanu is seriously considering making her words come true and actually forfeit the 2021 US Open title, which presumably would then be awarded to finalist Leylah Fernandez of Canada, or if she would return all the endorsement millions to her sponsors.

But anything is possible in the sometimes wacky world of pro tennis where the greatest champion in tennis history still gets bashed by the tennis media for being better than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Roy Emerson and Don Budge – and the former reigning WTA no. 1 Ashleigh Barty suddenly and shockingly retired from the sport at 26, in effect, walking away from multi-millions of dollars for playing and dominating a game she loves.

A month ago, Raducanu supposedly endured three surgeries and is taking a hiatus from competition. But these revelations this week about partially regretting her 2021 US Open title suggests that it may not be the wrist injuries that were the cause of her disappointing results this year and last year.

Raducanu may be suffering through a “me against the world” syndrome which Maria Sharapova discussed in her biography “Unstoppable.”

Hopefully, Raducanu will stop this negative self-pity and remember she is and always will be one of the most amazing underdog champions in tennis history who somehow managed to pull off the biggest Grand Slam miracle of our lifetimes.

Raducanu changed the game and inspired every other player on the planet to believe in themselves because maybe they too can suddenly transform their minds and bodies from an ordinary player into a Grand Slam champion in a couple of weeks.

Raducanu should always be extremely proud of the tennis magic she created with her Wilson racquet in August and September 2021. No one will ever duplicate that phenomenal feat again of winning a Grand Slam title at age 18 as a lowly qualifier by winning ten matches and twenty sets.

It’s really a shame the tennis world and establishment has turned such a positive experience into a negative but that’s tennis, a business that can be bitterly cruel and unfair at times.

(Photo By Rob Glickman.)

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  • catherine · June 22, 2023 at 2:39 am

    Scoop – if you read Emma’s comments on how she felt winning USO (see my quotes on thread below) you’ll know Emma has no intention of ‘forfeiting’ her title. It will remain one of the defining experiences of her life.

    A while ago Emma also mentioned that, although she and Leylah aren’t close friends, they still smile when they see each other because they recognise that what they both achieved that day was something truly exceptional and most likely will never be repeated. She may be having a bit of a tough time now but that will pass.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 22, 2023 at 7:15 am

    Catherine, I know it’s unlikely she will not drop the US Open title and her saying she sometimes wishes she didn’t win the title is her latest PR media campaign to curry sympathy and pity that she’s a victim of too much early success and all the pitfalls that come with it. I don’t think it is the injuries that caused the mediocre results. My guess is she has no friends in the wta not even Leylah, they all are out to get her. The other players are the sharks who all want a bite out of her. The best reactions to Emma’s silly I wish I never won the US Open were by Sandgren, “Sometimes I wish I never won the Godfrey $15k” and Moutet, “Sometimes I wish I never won the Brest Challenger.”

  • catherine · June 22, 2023 at 11:59 am

    Emma was truthfully answering questions she was asked. What more can she do ? Honestly, the amount of bile directed at this 21 year old who is just beginning her life really astounds me.

    I imagine most top players have already forgotten about her as any kind of challenge because time moves on and they’ll remember her when and if she starts winning again.

    I never heard anyone say anything bad about Emma, not even after she won the USO. And I’m sure she has plenty of friends – they’re just not tennis players. It’s preposterous and unkind making that sort of judgement.

    She has a nice way with words too – 90% of players sound semi-literate.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 22, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    Catherine, you misunderstand me, I like Emma a lot but it’s lonely at the top and no wta player will do her any favors, they all want a bite out of her. Once a Grand Slam champion always a Grand Slam champion. The wta players will try to chew her up and spit her out. And so far they are doing a good job of it. Raducanu isn’t finding the tennis court as her happy place anymore unfortunately the pressure and demands to win win win are getting the best of her.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 22, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    Look at this crazy match…

    WTA 250 Birmingham: 2R
    LL #90 Rebecca Marino def Q #150 Emina Bektas, 30, (USA) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(1).
    Crazy finish. EM has 3 MPs at 5-4, 40-0 in 3rd, hits apparent ace and celebrates with a huge roar but it’s called a ‘let.’ Marino then saves three MPs (one on a net cord), turns the tables and wins the match. Marino hit a 2023 season record 21 aces. Bektas never had a WTA tour win before this month, now she has three. Played college tennis at Univ of Michigan.

    The betting angle – from 5-4, *40-0 on serve. Marino was literally +20,000 on FanDuel. Which means Bektas was about -60,000.

  • catherine · June 27, 2023 at 6:56 am

    Re WTA and crowds, interested to see the Swiatek/Maria match in Bad Homburg had packed stands. True, Maria is German and BH is a small tournament but I’d guess Swiatek was the big draw for fans who would rarely see her otherwise.

    I’m sure Iga got good appearance money but I’d guess the match practice on grass is more important. She bulldozed the final 2 sets.

    Pity German women’s tennis is in the tank. Time for Angie’s comeback 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 27, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Risky business for Iga to be playing a tournament the week before Wimbledon, rarely do the top players do that. She must be feeling very confident, or maybe will withdraw by Thursday with an achy elbow or wrist. German tennis is near rockbottom with Sweden.

  • catherine · June 27, 2023 at 11:19 am

    I’d imagine Iga thinks it’s worth the risk. She’s looking at W’don now Elena seems below par.

    Of course plenty of players have injured themselves practising.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 27, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    And it’s not like Iga can expect there to be 3 hour matches in the first week, so matches this week is a good idea. She must be very confident.

  • catherine · June 29, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Marion Bartoli enters the conversation (disclosure: never my favourite player) and instructs Emma about who to have on the team and stop changing coaches (what a unique idea – no one’s ever mentioned that before).

    I got the feeling Bartoli sees herself as especially qualified for the job and is just waiting by the phone.

    ‘I don’t like quitters’ quoth Marion. Doesn’t seem to occur to her that people sometimes quit for good reasons.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 29, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    Mention the name Emma Raducanu in an interview or social media and you’re guaranteed headlines. Raducanu may not win titles anymore but her name is still hotter than Iga.



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