Maria Sharapova an ideal model for Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu should seek advice from Maria Sharapova on how to handle fame and expectations, according to former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli.
After losing in the second round in her second appearance at the All England Club, Raducanu will begin the build-up to her US Open title defense that rocketed her to stardom.
Sharapova went through something similar after winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old, but very effectively balanced the demands on and off the court throughout her career, winning four more Grand Slam titles before taking her retired two years ago.
Raducanu shrugged off the pressure after losing to Caroline Garcia last week, but after achieving A-list celebrity status and signing a string of high-end endorsement deals, the attention surrounding him should only increase.
Bartoli said: “For Emma, because she won so young, obviously with all the contracts and sponsorships she’s signed, the pressure she has to deal with – I mean, I can’t start to imagine it.
“It’s so massive. It needs someone special to take care of it. Maybe she should seek advice from Maria Sharapova, who was able to do it. It took Maria a bit of time to get the second (grand slam), but then it increased to five in total.
“You have to be kind to yourself. Give yourself some time. You just need to get those good results every time, maybe it’s not winning, but quarters, semis, maybe a final. Then you will get your second.
“If it’s too dramatic in terms of the outcome changing – like you win and then you lose in round one or round two – it becomes difficult mentally. You think, ‘OK, I’m not even close’.
“Once you get close and get solid, solid results every time, you feel like you’re there, ‘OK, I belong here, I’m in the last four or eight, so I can have another major breakthrough’.”
Raducanu has battled nagging injuries since his triumph in New York and is yet to produce results suggesting a second Slam title is on the cards anytime soon.
Major question marks also remain over her cutting and change of coaches as she seeks to rediscover the tennis that has seduced the sports world.
Raducanu and Sharapova share an agent in Max Eisenbud, and 2013 Wimbledon champion Bartoli continued, “Maria was on the covers of every magazine and she had a lot of big deals.
“I don’t know exactly how many millions Emma was able to sign but, looking at the bigger picture, it looks a bit like. And Maria was able to handle it perfectly.
“She beat Serena here and then became one of the greatest champions in the game for many years. For me, Maria was an example of doing that off the court but being able to block it so much on the court. He it was all about the game and business and winning, she was so good at it.
“Obviously Max was Maria’s agent for so long. I think there might be a connection there. Just getting advice.
“When you look at top players, they are constantly looking for advice, advice from people to help them. Even if it’s a percent or two here or there, it makes a huge difference in the end.