Emma Raducanu wrapped up a momentous season this week, losing at her final tournament in Austria after a year which propelled her from schoolgirl to superstar.
There was much to reflect on as she celebrated her 19th birthday this weekend.
After winning the US Open she played three tournaments (Indian Wells, Transylvania and Linz), winning two matches and losing three.
Now heading into an off-season which will see a brief holiday followed by a four week training block, here are five things she will need to have learned from having her world turned upside down….
Emma Raducanu has been propelled from schoolgirl to superstar in a momentous season
Raducanu’s achievement in New York turned her into something of a cultural icon almost overnight, and something of a pawn in the wider cultural arguments convulsing the national discourse at present.
As someone of mixed heritage she quickly found herself, unwittingly, as a reference point for wider complex issues such as immigration and Brexit. Given that her appeal and celebrity goes way beyond the realm of sport, it is unsurprising that someone like Eddie jones drew upon her name when (clumsily) trying to make a point about the temptations facing young sportspeople.
She will need to get used to people saying things that are inaccurate – such as Jones’s assertion that she appeared in Vogue following the US Open, when that was done in the wake of Wimbledon.
Raducanu is someone with a wide ranging worldview who may one day involve herself in matters of more profound importance. For now it is going to be difficult enough trying to establish herself as an elite tennis player, and that has to be the focus.
Her achievement in New York turned her into something of a cultural icon almost overnight
Relating to the above, there is already considerable interest and comment on what she does away from the court, especially in the commercial realm. It is unrealistic to expect someone in her position not to try and take up a few of the many opportunities that come her way.
Already there are deals with Christian Dior, Tiffany and (slightly incongruously) Sports Direct’s Christmas campaign through her connection with Nike. It is believed that Evian water may be the next to come on board. These commitments need to be carefully limited, and already she will have noticed that any faltering results will be automatically connected with anything she does outside the court.
Will attending two film premieres per year during off weeks