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Leading tennis figures criticise Eddie Jones for 'sexist' Emma Raducanu remarks

By Paul Smith
Eddie Jones has drawn stinging criticism (Photo by Dan Mullan - RFU/via Getty Images)

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Eddie Jones’ recent comments about Emma Raducanu have sparked stinging criticism from two prominent British tennis personalities.

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England’s head coach drew parallels with the 18-year-old US Open winner when responding to a question regarding Marcus Smith’s ability to deal with public acclaim.

Jones initially suggested that guidance from his parents could help the exciting young Harlequins fly-half deal with distractions plus “groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.”

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Wayne Pivac on the Cardiff pitch invader
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But Jones then went on to cite the example of Britain’s teenage tennis star Raducanu with a typically headline-grabbing soundbite.

“There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards,” he said. “What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes.

“All that is a distraction around her. It might not be to that degree with Marcus, but potentially it could be.

“He is grounded, but they all start out grounded. No one starts with their feet off the ground or they don’t get in the [England] team and they don’t win a US Open. But there are a flood of distractions which can make them ungrounded.”

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Tennis commentator David Laws became the first prominent figure to hit back at Jones when he labelled the veteran Aussie’s comments “uninformed, irresponsible, sexist nonsense.”

“The comments by Eddie Jones about Emma Raducanu are uninformed, irresponsible, sexist nonsense,” he wrote. “Young woman who has barely played professional tennis wins US Open, and he cites her commercial appearances as evidence for her ‘not doing so well’ (won 2, lost 2) since.”

Raducanu enjoyed trips to the Met Gala and the premiere of the new Bond film on the back of her astonishing title win while she has also signed several new sponsorship deals and appeared in the Sports Direct 2021 Christmas ad.

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Back on court, Raducanu – who won the Flushing Meadow major before winning a regular match on the WTA Tour – then won her first two matches on the WTA, before losing on her next two outings.

According to the Telegraph, former British no.1 Jo Durie has responded to Jones’ “sexist comments” by taking issue with his use of the phrase “young girl.”

“Emma isn’t a girl; she is an 18-year-old woman,” she said. “Unfortunately, when you’re this famous, everybody likes to have their opinion about you.

“I don’t know her well myself but she seems to have a good head on her shoulders and she just needs to play for at least a season and get used to life on the tour before anyone expects anything else from her.”

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