Emma Raducanu has hit back at critics who believe she is not fully focused on her tennis.
The Brit shot to stardom in 2021 after battling through US Open qualifying to win the Grand Slam on her tournament debut. She has picked up numerous sponsorship deals off the back of her remarkable achievement.
But since winning the Grand Slam, which saw her jump up to the No. 1 female British player in the WTA rankings, Raducanu has struggled for form.
WTA Cincinnati
Retiring Williams to face US Open champion Raducanu in Cincinnati opener
The world No. 13 has won just two of her seven matches this year and went out of the second round of the Miami Open to Katerina Siniakova last week.
Raducanu tweeted last week that she is an ambassador for Porsche, but insists she is fully focused on her tennis career.
"Maybe you just see, on the news or on social media, me signing this or that deal and I feel like it’s quite misleading because I’m doing five, six hours a day (of training), I’m at the club for 12 hours a day," she said.
"But I throw out one post in the car on the way to practice and all of a sudden it’s ‘I don’t focus on tennis’. I think that it is unfair but it’s something I have learned to deal with and become a bit more insensitive to the outside noise.
"At the end of the day, I feel like my days [with sponsors] are pretty limited. I’m not doing crazy days. I’m doing three, four days every quarter, so it’s really not that much."
Raducanu says is spending less time looking at what people write about her.
“In the beginning I probably would occasionally peek at what’s being said,” she said. "But now I don’t really bother doing that because sometimes it’s not going to be so favourable or positive and I feel like it can get to you. I’m just learning to thicken my skin a bit.
"For me, I’m doing these things, but I’m training hard, putting the hours in and especially now I feel I just need to get more volume and capacity. I am doing a lot and I’m spending a lot of time at the club.
"These deals, of course I’m so grateful for them, but my tennis is my focus. That’s definitely at the front of my head."
Raducanu will take part at next month's Stuttgart Open, which is sponsored by Porsche, and will also represent Great Britain at the Billie Jean King Cup qualifier against Czech Republic on the weekend of April 15-16.
‘She changed tennis’ – Raducanu on ‘inspirational’ Williams
10/08/2022 AT 08:17
WTA Toronto
Raducanu loses Toronto opener in straight sets to rampant Giorgi
09/08/2022 AT 20:10