Over the years, we have seen our fair share of child prodigies fail to live up to their potential in the tennis world. From Anna Kournikova to Eugenie Bouchard, several stars have shown promise in their teenage years only to underwhelm in their careers. Is Emma Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, heading in a similar direction?
2023 is turning out to be a disappointing year for 20-year-old British tennis star Emma Raducanu. Her fans were eagerly waiting for her to light up the Madrid Open after a series of disappointing performances this season. However, unfortunately, Raducanu withdrew from the tournament citing a right wrist injury. The withdrawal has significantly impacted her WTA ranking, as she dropped from World No. 85 to 101. More worryingly for Raducanu, her injury struggles may land some of her high-profile sponsorship deals in jeopardy.
Are Raducanu’s endorsements and sponsorships in danger of slipping away?
Emma Raducanu stunned the world of tennis when she won the 2021 US Open. At the time, she was only 18 years old. Her success, unsurprisingly, caught the attention of some of the world’s top brands, which wasted no time in getting her to sign for them. Right now, Raducanu has an estimated yearly earning of $10 million from her sponsorship deals. The deals came Raducanu’s way after her miraculous 2021 US Open win, which resulted in her social media following skyrocketing overnight. Her Instagram at present consists of around a whopping 2.4 million followers.
On the back of her US Open triumph, Raducanu signed with the jewelry company Tiffany & Co., along with deals with the likes of Wilson, Nike, Porsche, HSBC, Dior, British Airways, and Vodafone. All in all, these deals yield a whopping $10 million for Raducanu. However, now that she’s withdrawn from the Madrid Open and not even in the Top 100 of the WTA rankings, some of these big brands may look at her as a liability instead of a smart investment.
Right wrist problem has been plaguing Emma Raducanu since last year
Raducanu’s right wrist started to trouble her in 2022, which forced the No. 1 British women’s tennis player to withdraw from the remainder of the WTA season. Her withdrawal also made her unable to participate in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Despite returning to action in 2023, Raducanu continued to struggle as her performances so far have been well below the high standards her fans have grown accustomed to. Across the five events she has appeared in so far this season, she has played 10 matches, won 5, and lost 5.
Raducanu’s worst performance this season came at the Miami Open, where she lost to Bianca Andreescu and exited the tournament in the first round. Following her disappointment exit, she admitted that she was still struggling with her right wrist. She also said, “I just need to review after this tournament really and figure out what my next steps are.”