Tennis star Emma Raducanu has hit back at claims she is “distracted” in a new advert for Nike.
The 19-year-old was propelled to international stardom following her improbable victory at the US Open in September.
Commercial deals with Tiffany & Co, Dior, Evian, and British Airways soon followed, as did claims Raducanu was ‘distracted’ by her new found fame.
The British talent has responded to this criticism in a new advert for sponsors Nike. She is shown playing tennis while words such as “distracted”, “fluke” and “one-hit wonder” flash up around her.
The advert also depicts the pressures of success, with the words “perfect” and “flawless” also appearing.
Raducanu is then shown fully focused on her match, followed by the slogan: “World off. Game on.”
Fans have applauded the advert, with one Twitter user writing: “Simple yet clever Emma Raducanu ad from Nike.
“Hope most fans get the point – she’s neither ‘perfect’ nor a ‘one-hit wonder,’ she’s just a teenage Grand Slam champion who needs space to mature at her own pace.”
Raducanu started last year ranked 343rd but ended it ranked inside the world’s top 20.
She became the first qualifier to ever win a Grand Slam at the US Open –– winning 10 games in a row without dropping a set during the tournament.
It was the first time a female British tennis player had won a major since Virginia Wade in 1977.
For her achievements, Raducanu was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year award and received an MBE.
But her rise to the top has also had its pitfalls – Raducanu was at the centre of a storm created by Eddie Jones, the head coach of the England men’s rugby team.
“There’s a reason why the girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards,” Jones said in November, suggesting Raducanu had become distracted by fame.
“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.”
Raducanu is now preparing to compete at the Australian Open, only the third Grand Slam of her career.
After a turbulent end to 2021, which included a positive result for COVID-19, Raducanu lost her opening match of 2022.
She was heavily beaten 6-0, 6-1 by Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the opening round of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Raducanu has said she is confident she will “brush off” the defeat against Rybakina in time for the Australian Open, which starts on January 17th.