England coach Eddie Jones denies criticism of Emma Raducanu

By Sports Desk November 11, 2021

Eddie Jones insists he did not intend to criticise US Open champion Emma Raducanu in his recent comments about young sportspeople coping with "distractions".

The England rugby union head coach referred to Raducanu on Saturday when discussing the possibility that fly-half Marcus Smith could face "a flood of distractions" after an impressive cameo in his team's 69-3 win against Tonga.

Jones received criticism after suggesting the 18-year-old Brit had underperformed since she won her first grand slam in September, when she became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a major.

"There's a reason why the girl who won the US Open [Raducanu] hasn't done so well afterwards. What have you seen her on? The front page of Vogue, the front page of Harper's Bazaar, whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes," Jones said at the weekend.

However, he has attempted to clarify his comments, claiming he was not directly criticising Raducanu.

"The whole point was how difficult it is for young players to cope with distractions," Jones told BBC Sport.

"So, the point I made was not wrong. I can't control if it's taken out of context. There was no criticism of Emma.

"I have sent her a letter just to reinforce that and hopefully we'll see her at Twickenham shortly.

"I don't have any misgivings about what I said – I am disappointed it was taken out of context, and I would be disappointed if Emma was upset by it.

"It was deemed as being sexist and that was never the aim of the point."

Raducanu's season came to a frustrating end on Tuesday as she sustained a thigh injury in the process of being knocked out of the Linz Open – in which she was the top seed – by Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu 6-1 6-7 (0-7) 7-5.

However, the British number one did confirm Torben Beltz as her new coach afterwards, having parted with Andrew Richardson a couple of weeks after her historic US Open success.

 

Related items

  • Nadal hails Williams as 'one of the greatest of all-time' Nadal hails Williams as 'one of the greatest of all-time'

    Serena Williams is "one of the greatest of all time", says fellow tennis legend Rafael Nadal as the 23-time grand slam winner prepares to hang up her racquet.

    The 40-year-old, one of the most decorated players in the history of the sport, signalled her intent to "evolve away" from the game in an interview with Vogue Magazine earlier this month, hinting at her retirement following the U.S. Open in September.

    With just shy of two-dozen grand slam singles titles, Williams trails only Margaret Court for the all-time record of 24 crowns, and could equal her in her farewell appearance.

    Nadal, meanwhile, lies one behind her after victory in the Australian Open and French Open this year took him clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to 22, though the former's win at Wimbledon has seen him close the gap again.

    The duo are set to feature at this week's Western and Southern Open, where Williams will face incumbent U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu, and the Spaniard - who will mark his return from injury - has nothing but praise for his fellow giant of the game.

    "She is one of the greatest sports [people] of all time," he stated. "I feel lucky to share a tour for a long period of time with her.

    "Of course, from a selfish point of view, it's sad that she's leaving the tour but, on the other hand, we can't thank her enough for all the things that she did for our sport.

    "I think she's an amazing inspiration for a lot of people around the world and I think she deserves to choose whatever works for her better at this stage of her life.

    "So I wish her all the best. Hopefully, we can keep seeing her around the tour because I always believe that our sport, or the sport in general, is bigger and better when legends are around and she is a legend.

    "Hopefully, we can enjoy her in a different way around the tour."

    Nadal was forced to withdraw ahead of the Wimbledon semi-finals earlier this year with an abdominal tear, and now faces a potentially nervy run through to the U.S. Open in terms of fitness.

    But the 36-year-old is cautiously optimistic, adding: "I hope to be ready. That's what I'm trying to do. Try to be a little more conservative, but I hope I can be ready to play.

    "Of course, I need some more days to analyse how things are going in terms of abdominal feeling.

    "But things are going well for the moment, so hopefully I can manage to be ready. I'm excited. I want to play tennis again on the tour. I'm having a good season, I'm enjoying it, so I want to enjoy this week in Cincinnati."

  • Halep defeats Haddad Maia in Canada Open final Halep defeats Haddad Maia in Canada Open final

    Simona Halep secured victory against Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Canada Open final on Sunday, though was given a tougher test than she had otherwise experienced throughout the tournament.

    The Romanian was a 6-3 2-6 6-3 victor, dropping a set for only the second time in the week, but standing firm in the clash that clocked in at over two hours.

    That meant records for Haddad Maia, who has played the most WTA-level matches with three sets in 2022 (20) and spent over 12-and-a-half hours on the court at the Canada Open in 2022, more than any other player in a single WTA tournament this year.

    Wimbledon semi-finalist Halep proved to be a step too far for the Brazilian, however, with the win marking her most significant honour since winning in Rome in 2020.

    It was far from a vintage performance from the 30-year-old, who had nine double-faults in the match compared to Haddad Maia's two and left the door open for the South American - who was vying for victory in her first ever WTA 1000 event.

    Halep had already clinched a return to the world top 10 by reaching the final in Toronto, the first time since her 373-week stint ended just over a week ago - which led to admissions that she considered calling it quits amid her decline.

    A valiant comeback in 2022 has been one of the major stories of the calendar year though and, on the back of victory in Canada and a semi-final march at Wimbledon, will have high hopes for the U.S. Open.

  • 'I started crying' - Cheika reveals 'confusing' emotions in Pumas' hammering of Australia 'I started crying' - Cheika reveals 'confusing' emotions in Pumas' hammering of Australia

    Michael Cheika revealed he was in tears as his Argentina side put Australia to the sword in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

    The Pumas secured their biggest win over the Wallabies and their most emphatic in the Rugby Championship, winning 48-17 at Estadio Bicentenario.

    Australian Cheika coached his country for five years before his reign came to an end in 2019 and the 55-year-old had mixed emotions during a record victory for Argentina in San Juan.

    The Argentina head coach told reporters: "I love these guys, they're my crew now. I was up on the last try, cheering. But then I started crying because I know I probably shouldn't be doing this. It was a bit confusing for me, personally.

    "But they're my boys now. That's my team. I will do everything I can to help them get success and enjoy rugby.

    "They are paying me a lot of respect here and people are believing in the things that we are doing. I have to do everything I can to help them."

    Cheika is relishing a short break in his homeland before Argentina take on New Zealand.

    "It's good to be going to Australia and have a few days off, seeing my mum and my brothers and sisters and take the boys for a Leb (Lebanese) feed at my mum's place," Cheika said.

    "But I am looking forward to going to New Zealand because it is a great place to go and play rugby."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.