EMMA Raducanu’s recent return to ‘form’ has been put down to her decision to dump her social media presence – and concentrate on playing tennis.

Raducanu hit a winning streak in the Californian desert last week before going out to world No.1 Iga Swiatek.

But after a poor Australian Open the British No.1 decided to remove her social media apps.

The 20-year-old is, or was, the fifth-most followed tennis player on Instagram, with 2.5 million followers, ranking only behind Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios and Naomi Osaka.

Emma Raducanu loses her second round match in Melbourne in January. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Raducanu has come under intense criticism over her poor form following the surprising US Open triumph, working her way through a number of coaches as her ranking dropped like a stone.

And Raducanu has signed a number of high profile partnerships with brands such as Tiffany & Co, Dior, British Airways, and Evian.

Distractions? Some have argued that. With some justification as her form slumped.

But in an interview with The Times newspaper, Raducanu told of her decision to ‘zone in’ on herself.

“After the removal, I’ve just been living under my own little rock,” Raducanu said.

“Sometimes you just go through some patches where you feel like you just want to zone in on yourself. I was very content with my life, what I was doing with it.

“I think that negativity is part of social media.

A delighted Emma Raducanu signs autographs for fans in Melbourne. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“I feel that it affects you, but I’ve just learned regardless of what you do – if you do good, if you do bad – people are going to come at you regardless.

“Now it doesn’t really bother me so much and I don’t really let it affect me.”

Her account is still active though – just run by her management agency IMG.

RAFA Nadal is to be honoured in his hometown of Manacor in Mallorca with a statue.

Rumours are the stature will also feature two bottles of water, placed exactly where he likes them.

Novak Djokovic will not be playing in Miami next week.

SO a slow boat from Nassau didn’t work for Novak Djokovic, who will miss next week’s Miami Open after the was denied an exemption that would have allowed him to enter the US despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a bizarre twist two weeks ago Florida’s popular governor Rick DeSantis offered to ferry the Serb from the Bahamas every day into Miami to play.

DeSantis was trying to circumvent US Federal immigration laws and stick a finger up to Presient Joe Biden in Washington.

How he thought that play to sidestep Covid rules would work only he knew. 15-love to Sleepy Joe?

Novak Djokovic tries to cool down on a steamy Melbourne night during the Australian Open semifinal in January.
Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

NOVAK Djokovic has lost out on a fortune because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, missing out on both Indian Wells and Miami potentially costing him over $2.5m.

But since Australia 2022 and that now infamous deportation, Djokovic has missed out on much more.

Including Australia, his earnings had he won from the American circuit, including Canada, Cincinnati, Indian Wells and Miami twice amount to over $11m.

That’s a lot of prize money lost for not taking the medicine.

The Serb is now not likely to return until Monte Carlo next month.

THE WTA has warned to Anastasia Potapova for wearing a T-shirt of Russian soccer team Spartak Moscow before her match against Jessica Pegula at Indian Wells last week.

Russian Potapova’s actions were viewed as a public show of support for her country during its invasion of Ukraine and the 21-year-old was criticised by Iga Swiatek.

Potapova, when asked about the shirt after the match, said she had supported Spartak since she was 13 and saw no provocation in it.

ANOTHER match between Holger Rune and Stan Wawrinka and another spat.

The pair were involved in a post-match standoff after their match at Indian Wells.

Wawrinka produced an upset to defeat the seventh-seeded Dane 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5.

But the best was saved til last, during the post-match handshake where Rune could be heard telling Wawrinka:

“You got nothing to say now?”

Wawrinka then told the teenager:

“What do you want me to say?”

Rune’s words were a reference to the last time the pain played, in the first round of the 2022 Paris Masters.

The Swiss had scolded the Dane on the court after the latter won 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3).

“My advice to you is that you stop acting like a baby on the court OK?” Wawrinka told Rune in Paris last year.

LESIA Tsurenko has received a response after claiming the CEO of the WTA had told her “not to be upset” when Russian and Belarusian players expressed support for the war.

The world No 95 pulled out of her Indian Wells meeting with Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka after the conversation led her to have a panic attack. And the WTA has now issued a statement on the matter.

Tsurenko told of a “shocking” conversation with WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon last Sunday.

“I was absolutely shocked by what I heard, I just broke down mentally,” the four-time title winner told Great Tennis Ukraine.

“He told me that he himself does not support the war, but if the players from Russia and Belarus support it, then this is only their own opinion, and the opinion of other people should not upset me.”

The Ukrainian pulled out of her Indian Wells third-round clash against Sabalenka, revealing she had a panic attack induced by the stress of her chat with Simon.

The WTA has since issued a response, condemning the Russian government over the war in Ukraine.

AND finally …

From one end of the social media spectrum (Emma Raducanu) to the other.

Camila Giorgi is back in the media again – for her off court shoots.

The 31-year-old Italian player took a break from her training schedule to enjoy a special night out in Miami and was photographed in a black and white, zebra-printed dress, which drew over 32,000 likes on her Instagram page.

As Emma Raducanu dumps her profile, Giorgi, who is never likely to win a Slam, continues to grow her audience.


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