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Eddie Jones blasted for ‘sexist’ Emma Raducanu comments


Emma Raducanu at the world premiere of "No Time To Die” in London.

Jeff Spicer/AP

Emma Raducanu at the world premiere of “No Time To Die” in London.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones has been accused of making sexist remarks about Britain’s latest sporting sensation, tennis star Emma Raducanu.

Jones has found himself in hot water with English tennis figures for his views on the way 18-year-old Raducanu has handled her instant fame since winning the US Open.

Jones was asked how his outstanding young first-five Marcus Smith could handle the public pressure and acclaim, and he used Raducanu as an example – of what not to do.

Emma Raducanu is now the youngest Briton to win a Grand Slam title after her US Open victory.

“There’s a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards,” Jones said as British media jumped on the issue.

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“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.

Emma Raducanu was thrust into the spotlight with her stunning US Open triumph.

Elsa/Getty Images

Emma Raducanu was thrust into the spotlight with her stunning US Open triumph.

“… 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.

“There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing.”

British tennis commentator David Laws took issue with Jones’ comments in a hard-hitting tweet.

“The comments by Eddie Jones about Emma Raducanu are uninformed, irresponsible, sexist nonsense,” Laws 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 the social spotlight after her stunning win in New York, attending the Met Gala and then being a star attraction at the world premier of the latest James Bond movie in London.

Emma Raducanu tours the New York Stock Exchange after winning the US Open in the Big Apple.

Nicole Pereira/AP

Emma Raducanu tours the New York Stock Exchange after winning the US Open in the Big Apple.

Former British No1 Jo Durie also took issue with Jones, particular his description of Raducanu as a “young girl.”

“Emma isn’t a girl; she is an 18-year-old woman,” she told The Telegraph.

“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.

“… No one ever complains about blokes going to galas; it’s always something that is thrown at women.”

BBC presenter Gabby Logan labelled Jones’ remarks, “unbelievably unfair” and doubted the comparisons with Smith.

“Imagine an 18-year-old rugby player winning a World Cup having never played a club game,” she said.

In the eight weeks since her US Open triumph, Raducanu, has played in two tournaments.

She lost in the first round at Indian Wells, then reached the quarter-finals of the Transylvania Open.

She complained of feeling tired after her defeat in Cluj by Marta Kostyuk – not because of her additional off-court commitments but because she was feeling ill, even concerned she may have had Covid.



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