Tennis Prose



Sounds Like Emma Is Already Tired Of The Tennis Media

Emma during her US Open 2021 1R match on court 17. Photo by Rob Glickman.

By Scoop Malinowski

Recently Reilly Opelka blasted the tennis media as being “awful, the worst” for it’s unprofessionalism, lack of originality and just plain lousy questions and articles.

Now another notable champion has also expressed veiled disdain for the methods of the tennis media.

This week at the Canadian Open, the 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu let it be known that she too is growing weary of the way the tennis media is treating her.

Emma Raducanu: “I feel the pressure or only think about it when I’m in press conferences because every single question is about pressure. So all the pressure I get is from you guys.”

Is the media’s constant harping and emphasizing on pressure, pressure, pressure, contributing to the mediocre results that Raducanu has accomplished since her dream come true, sensational US Open triumph a year ago where she won ten matches in a row, all in straight sets?

Since beating Leylah Fernandez in the final, Raducanu has pocketed millions in endorsement deals but she has posted a losing record in WTA match play.

You have to wonder how Raducanu’s results would be if she didn’t have to deal with questions about pressure, pressure, pressure at every single WTA press conference?

The tennis media sure tried to destroy the career of Novak Djokovic – fortunately they failed miserably on that endeavor – and now, knowingly or unintentionally, the tennis media may be indirectly wrecking the career of one of the brightest, exciting and thrilling stars to emerge on the WTA scene in decades.

Maybe someone in the tennis media might be able to think of a different story angle for Emma than asking her about pressure. Or maybe not.

Because as Reilly Opelka said, the tennis media “is awful, the worst.”

Emma before US Open qualies 2021 with fan Kelsey Constantine.

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  • catherine · August 10, 2022 at 10:02 am

    I was interested to see your comment below that Tursunov wasn’t in Toronto. I know he had previous committments so I don’t think we should read too much into his absence. But for whatever reason Emma looked all at sea v Giorgi, slow, defensive, not doing much with the ball etc. Not happy at all.

    Really doubt though that she’d let the press get to her to the extent it would ruin her career. However, from some of her comments recently I gather she can’t wait for the USO to be over so she can start again ‘with a clean slate’. Serena’s retirement should help her there – all the attention will be on Serena/Venus.

    Emma can’t seem to get enough power into her serve/groundstrokes. Maybe it’s her slim build. But whatever, it didn’t help v Giorgi.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 10, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Catherine, why can’t the media ruin Emma’s career, they totally destroyed a very popular and successful President of the United States by non stop attacks, false accusations and smear campaigns. They could destroy a teenage girl’s tennis career far easier even if they didn’t intend to. They tried to destroy Novak’s career but they failed. Nico Pereira said on the TV broadcast that Emma’s problem is “not mental, it’s technical. She’s jumping into the forehand too much for no reason. She just needs to load on rear base foot. Right now she hits FH better on the run and didn’t handle FH down the middle well. Simple fix.” Dr Tursunov should be able to cure this. The other problem for Emma is everybody plays at least ten percent better against her, everybody is motivated extra to beat the US Open Queen. But for a 19 year old rookie on the WTA tour, she’s had a decent 2022.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 10, 2022 at 10:45 am

    here I’ll give the lame tennis media some new questions ideas for Emma…

    How many times have you watched the US Open final video?

    Do you remember exactly when during the 2021 US Open you got the idea that Hey I can win this US Open?

    How have the other players treated you since you won the US Open, some nice, some not so nice?

    As a tennis fan, which are your favorite players to watch?

  • Vijay · August 10, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    Scoop, you’re part of the media too, no? Surely everyone feels that it’s everyone else that’s the problem.

    Emma has lots of other technical issues besides the jumpy forehand. Her serve is mediocre. In the US Open, her opponents struggled to read her serve. Now everyone has seen the tape, and know what to expect and what to do: go to the forehand, but not wide! Her net game is nonexistent, and she has little variation in her game in terms of change of speed or tactics mid-match.

    So, yes, she has lots of work to do.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 10, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Vijay, No I don’t feel a part of the media and never have actually. I always felt like an outsider, from doing Biofiles which 95% of players really liked to do, to how I cover the sport without militant political agenda pushing. I don’t associate with any tennis media except for a few. I’m happy and able to run my own site with full creative and content control and work on my books. Next up in tennis will be Facing Monica Seles and an NBTA book. Emma, like every pro player, has some weaknesses and technical issues because nobody ever masters this complex game. Even Djokovic is still trying to improve his athleticism and agility by starting capoeira training. Emma will improve and her best tennis is ahead of her. If she is another Michael Chang and only wins one major title, that’s still okay.

  • Vijay · August 10, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    Scoop, you’re making my point for me. I’m sure everyone else with a press pass feels like Opelka and others are talking about someone else.

    Re Emma, I was just noting that she has a lot more work to do than others who burst onto the scene, be they a Sampras, Fed, Novak, etc, or the Williams sisters. I feel that Coco Gauff is further along in her development than Emma. (Un)fortunately for Emma, she’s already won a major so everyone has different standards and expectations for her. I wish her well but I don’t see a major in her future anytime soon.

  • catherine · August 11, 2022 at 2:03 am


    Really, makes you wonder how Emma’s ever won anything. She has a lot of catching up to do, gave up a few years to stay at school.

    I’ve seen her play better than v Giorgi but no, she’s not going to be a legend in her lifetime. Doesn’t matter.

    The comparison with Chang is reasonable.

  • catherine · August 11, 2022 at 5:58 am

    Earlier this year Emma said she wished she had not won the USO when she did, that it’s made her life harder in many ways. Not least the amount of spite that’s been directed at her. She’s realistic about herself, while hoping for the best:

    “And now I genuinely just accept it. Okay, it’s not going to be pretty necessarily or easy, but I’m 100 percent okay for starting over, to be honest. If my ranking plummets to 1000 and whatever, then I don’t care. I know that being a US Open champ I’m going to somehow pull my way back up there. It’s going to take a bit of time maybe, but, yeah, I’m just really accepting of that and looking forward to whatever journey it takes.”

    She also sad that when she started at school she often felt lonely and isolated, and how playing tennis helped her to develop confidence. It’s possible she feels that now, still being relatively new on the scene, an ‘elite’ player by ranking but not by performance. At school she succeeded through her intellectual gifts – on the tennis court it’s a little different.

    Emma hasn’t grown a shell yet but I’m sure she will.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 11, 2022 at 8:09 am

    Not quite Vijay. When Opelka first blasted the tennis media at US Open 2021, Bill Simons of Inside Tennis magazine sought out Opelka months later and set up a one on one interview to challenge his assertions about the tennis media. And Opelka was even more outspoken against the media in that interview which I wrote about here. I feel is the best tennis site, it has intelligent readers like you and other commenters, and also some big figures in the sport told me they really like the site, one coach of a top 100 player told me after I gave him my card for the site, “I read your site last night for an hour.” From Chris Evert telling me during a Biofile, “You ask great questions.” To Marcelo Rios and his father both telling me they liked my book. To upstart Final Magazine contacting me out of the blue to write a feature about Emma for their debut issue and then a feature of my choice for the second issue. To the giant donation I got from a billionaire oil family tycoon from Dallas, TX I know this web site is a very good one and Opelka was not referring to it when he said what he said about the tennis media being awful and the worst.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 11, 2022 at 8:16 am

    I think the whole thing with Emma is she hasn’t changed much since winning US Open but every other player has a different mindset when they walk on court with the US Open champion, they all are extra motivated to kick her ass and prove to themselves that by beating her they can win a major too. So they play with incredible extra motivation and that is a big difference. She feels that and can’t do anything to thwart it. Let me tell you how important “extra incentive, extra motivation” is: Evander Holyfield once said “I never insult an opponent or say anything negative about him because I don’t want to give him any extra incentive to beat me.” Holyfield, one of the greatest boxing champ’s ever, respected and feared the power of “extra incentive, extra motivation” because he knew how powerful it is. Emma has a huge X on her back and she is victim of her own success, in a sense. Everybody wants to kick the ass of the young glamour girl who walked in and stole a grand slam title and made them all look bad.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 11, 2022 at 9:54 am

    I think Jack Draper is the real deal. He handled no. 5 Tsitispas last night very impressively for a 20 year old with just 20 ATP matches (11-9). Tsitispas may be a broken player, he’s tried everything like Raonic but could not get over the hump and win a Grand Slam. Draper may actually be the better prospect than Alcaraz, we’ll see. Kyrgios may be the best player in the world right now, he’s on a rampage of dominance, he’s 14-1 in his last 15 singles matches and won two two doubles titles with different partners ATL and DC. He just crushed the false world no. 1 Medvedev (the real no. 1 is really Djokovic). Kyrgios has finally come of age and right now he’s the favorite to win US Open if they ban Novak. Serena can still play incredible tennis, great ball striking but she can’t move well enough to compete and beat the best. Bencic is a great player who should be winning Grand Slams.

  • MATT SEGEL · August 11, 2022 at 11:26 am

    Most of the tennis media is in London and New York. Emma’s British and so the scrutiny is due to that. Sure she is attractive, but so are a lot of players. London and New York have certain attitudes about people and life and are pretty ruthless, rapacious and cynical. I used to listen to the Tennis Podcast and they would be a perfect example.

    Steve Tignor is probably my favorite mainstream tennis writer, as I find his writing insightful without being overly emotional and critical. Still his political and social leanings come out, but not like Pete Bodo or John Wertheim.

    Yes, Scoop you might have political leanings, but it’s refreshing because 99% of the tennis media is overtly leftist.

    What is with the ATP using alliterations on their story lines?!!!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 11, 2022 at 11:50 am

    Matt, I did and do try to leave politics out of tennis here but in the last three years the politics pushing agendas inflicted on tennis have badly damaged the sport and it’s only gotten worse and worse. Too much hypocrisy and corruption are diseasing tennis now. It became impossible to ignore it. Let’s hope they don’t destroy the sport, but it may be inevitable. They have now destroyed the ATP rankings which are now fraudulent. Djokovic is the real no. 1 but Federer and Nadal via the player council decision to strip Wimb ranking points which accomplished nothing but to screw Novak.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 11, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Let me remind you Vijay…

    Over the years Scoop Malinowski’s Biofile interviews have received some surprise praises and compliments from readers and also Biofile subjects. Here are a few samples…

    Hello, Just spent the morning reading trough your biofiles page and enjoyed it tremendously….what a way to while away half a day. With the Ipad age its even more interesting as I was able to wiki more deeply into say Jack Dempsey, and then go back and continue exploring for other interesting people, even the ones I thought I didn’t like. What you do is important and will last, Thanks and Regards, –Eric Thomason

    “…And thanks again for your interest in featuring her in your column, which is great by the way and always gives you a glimpse into the other side of the hockey players and personalities we all follow.” –Tom Bartsiokas

    “I really do hope someday you’ll write a book on Manny Pacquiao, Scoop. I can’t explain it but your journalism style provides a breath of fresh air to an otherwise beaten and rehash topics by other sports journalists. Maybe because of your biofile approach that reveals a little bit something under the athlete’s skin, which provides pleasurable reading.” –Elvin Ventucillo

    “You ask great questions.” — Chris Evert, Tennis Hall of Famer

    “Damn good questions…” — Gordie Howe, “Mr Hockey”

    “These are great questions.” –George Foreman, Former Heavyweight champion

    ‘That’s the most interesting interview I ever did.” –Richard Williams, Tennis coach

    “That’s the best interview I ever did. You can put that in there too.” –Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers

    “What is this? Some kind of offbeat psychological profile?” – Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Basketball coach

    “That’s actually the best interview I ever did.” — Brian Lee, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman

    “I was very impressed with the “Olympic Biofile” on page forty-one (41)…I can tell you articles like Biofile are like “gold” to aspiring young people.” – Mal Whitfield, former US Olympic gold medalist in track & field in a letter to Olympian Magazine.

    “These are the best questions I’ve been asked all day.” — NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, after an auto racing reporter mocked my Biofile questions at a NASCAR media event at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 11, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Tsitsipas tried to head hunt Draper at 1-3 down in the first set yesterday. It marked the fourth time this year Tsitsipas tried to hit an opponent in the head. Miami Alcaraz, Barcelona Alcaraz, Kyrgios Wimbledon and now Draper Toronto, all losses. Yesterday’s was blatant. Draper hit a lunge BH that ended up at the net for an easy smash overhead near the ump chair. Tsitsipas could hit the ball anywhere, up the line, drop, but instead he opted to smash it at Draper who was frozen in the cross court corner. The smash missed by an inch out. Tsitsipas may have an image as a nice guy and too soft off court but on the court he’s a killer.

  • catherine · August 11, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    Dear Matt Segal – I live in London (not far from Emma’s home borough of Bromley) and I’d hate to think I was ‘ruthless, rapacious and cynical’. Most people I know who follow tennis aren’t either.

    British sportswriters have a particular way of writing about sport which often mixes cynicism with humour. This may not travel well. As far as politics goes, I’m not interested, except to note that the majority of British newspapers are owned by right wing magnates but the sports sections don’t always reflect this.

    Alliteration is a style beloved of tabloid subeditors and the ATP has probably just copied it.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 12, 2022 at 7:56 am

    CDC rules the vaccinated are now different than the non vaccinated. Since the CDC have now announced that the unvaccinated are no different to the vaccinated, it has to be assumed they will let Novak Djokovic play in the US open.

  • catherine · August 13, 2022 at 4:43 am

    Emma’s hit the jackpot in her Cinci draw: 1st match v Serena.
    If she loses then she’s not even good enough to beat a 41 yr old woman; if she wins then she’s spoilt Serena’s triumphant Farewell Tour with a meaningless victory over a 41 yr old woman 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2022 at 8:40 am

    That’s the kind of 1R matchup that can sell an entire tournament. A lot of buzz and hype for this match. Cant see how Raducanu could lose to an immobile 41 year old but it will be a test for the kid in more ways than one.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 13, 2022 at 9:22 am

    American lefty Ben Shelton wins again in Chicago QF beats veteran Jordan Thompson 76 64 to reach SF as WC. Shelton shooting up the rankings.

  • George · August 14, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    Serena is a horrible 1R opponent for anybody: she can still beat the best of them on a good day if she serves well. No shame in losing to her then!

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 14, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    George, yes Serena is a nightmare opponent because physically she can still play, even if she can’t move, and then there’s the mental battle of feeling guilty for beating the retiring legend. I think Serena could actually win the US Open on guilt alone, I could seven players all roll over and defer to her and let her win the US Open and retire. For all she’s done for the game, sort of like a seven match subconscious tank to give Serena a free Slam in her grand finale. I think most players are going to be afraid to beat her and will not play her with killer instinct, and Serena will capitalize on that. Plus it would be a huge story for the sport, WTA needs a big story right now. They just lost China millions.

  • catherine · August 15, 2022 at 2:53 am

    Notes: Raducanu is playing doubles in Cincy with Rybakina. The two also practised together. Tursunov has returned after a break for a prior committment.

    Will doubles help Emma on the singles court ? Gauff obviously thinks it’s helping her. Used to be a common sight, top singles players in doubles, but so much these days.

  • Scoop Malinowski · August 15, 2022 at 7:00 am

    Catherine, yes without a doubt doubles will help Raducanu, she needs to overcome the challenge of doubles which requires more specific shots and variety and quick improvisations and volleys. This will make her better in singles, no doubt.



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