England rugby head coach Eddie Jones has been slammed over comments suggesting tennis star Emma Raducanu is in poor form due to media commitments.
Jones cited Raducanu’s Christian Dior photoshoot as a reason she may have lost at the Transylvania Open recently and struggled for form since winning the US Open.
Jones made the comments after comparing Raducanu, who won her maiden Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows two months ago, to Marcus Smith. The 22-year-old was influential in England's convincing 69-3 win over Tonga after coming off the bench on Saturday.
Jones is managing the fly-half’s development very carefully and inexplicably compared it to Raducanu.
“The big thing for good young players is distractions, the distractions could be the exposure they get in the media, the praise they get, the criticism they get,” Jones commented. “There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.
“There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards.
“What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes.”
The 61-year-old added: “All that is a distraction around her.”
Raducanu shot to fame after her impressive performance at Wimbledon where she reached the fourth round before she was forced to retire from her match with Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulties.
The 18-year-old followed it up with her sensational run to the US Open title and became a global superstar in the process.
Do you think Eddie Jones' comments on Emma Raducanu were fair? Let us know in the comments section.
Raducanu attended the exclusive Met Gala and penned deals with Chanel and Dior, while appearing on the front of magazine covers.
Jones’ comments were met with a great degree of scepticism online as Raducanu was defended.
Journalist Sioned Dafydd wrote: "Eddie Jones calling Emma Raducanu 'the young girl who won the US Open' makes his comments all the more patronising and infuriating. Raducanu is the first qualifier to win a major in Open era. She created history at 18. And he doesn’t even seem to know her name?"
Tennis commentator David Law tweeted: "The comments by Eddie Jones about Emma Raducanu are uninformed, irresponsible, sexist nonsense. 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 lost in the opening round of the Indian Wells event in California in her first tournament appearance after winning the US Open, before reaching the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open. Raducanu is back in action in Linz this week as she plays her final event of the year.
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