You could be forgiven to think that Emma Raducanu is the world number 1, given the amount of press she seems to receive, through no fault of her own. If you were to read any mainstream news headline on women’s tennis, it is adorned with vacuous puff pieces bordering on celebrity gossip. A cursory look at coverage of women’s tennis will yield you article names such as ‘Emma Raducanu visits the New York Stock Exchange after Met Gala debut’. While there is no doubt at all that Emma Raducanu is a world class player, the radio silence in the press surrounding the current women’s world number 1, and 3 time grand slam champion, Iga Swiatek, is deafening.
Winning 2 grand slams in 2022, and winning something like 4 master 1000s in a row, the records have just been made a mockery of. To boot, Swiatek is now joint holder of the longest women’s match win streak of the 21st century, winning an astonishing 35 matches in a row. What is most disappointing however, is that Iga Swiatek, breaking all sorts of records, is far less marketable than Emma Raducanu, who hasn’t made it past the 2nd round at any slam in 2022.
Is it not completely laughable that the woman’s tennis player that has had the most success in the world on, on-court, is not at all a household name yet? If we are to be completely serious, Emma Raducanu is orders of magnitude more well known to the general public. The same goes for Naomi Osaka, an unbelievable player who seems to astronomically more recognisable than current world number 1 and 3 time grand slam champion Iga Swiatek.
Is it not at least, a little bit concerning, that the current best hope for women’s tennis is not yet properly well-known to the general public? If not, what level of achievement will it require for the general public and media to finally hype Iga up? In a world where tennis is so recognisable, is it not truly sad that the world’s best female player is virtually unknown outside of hardcore tennis circles?