Emma Raducanu has integrity questioned by Great Britain's BJK Cup captain

Raducanu was good at the BJK Cup but not in Madrid.
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When Great Britain took on France in early April in a Billie Jean King Cup tie, no one knew before the tie what might happen. France's Caroline Garcia had been playing well before the matchup and she might have been enough to carry France through. Emma Raducanu, though, was likely the biggest reason that Great Britain was able to take the tie.

In fact, Raducanu, still playing her way back from into form from multiple surgeries last year, played some of the best tennis she has ever played. Raducanu got wins against Garcia and Diane Parry in nearly singularly securing Britain's victory. One might assume that would have bought the young Brit some time from being torched by fellow players or coaches on any misstep she might make.

That was not the case, however. Raducanu lost in the first round of the Madrid Masters to WTA No. 83 and event qualifier Maria Lourdes Carle. To be fair, Raducanu only entered the tournament as a wild card and she was only ranked 221 entering Madrid. The argument could be made that even though Raducanu played well in the BJK Cup tie, Lourdes Carle was the hotter player entering the match.

Emma Raducanu might not want to rush back to playing at the Billie Jean King Cup

To make matters worse on herself in the eyes of others, Raducanu admitted in a press conference after the match that she was "exhausted." This admission of perceived weakness is where Great Britain's Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong somewhat unfairly pounced. Instead of defending her star player from the recent BJK Cup tie (or not saying anything at all), Keothavong was fairly ruthless in her observation of Raducanu's comments.

To be completely clear, Raducanu said, "Starting from the Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup, I haven’t stopped. I was very happy being able to help carry the team in the BJK Cup and then straight to Stuttgart with no rest and then straight here...I’m going to take a few days off and rest a little bit because I’ve been going non-stop for the last month. From the performance it was very clear that mentally and emotionally I was exhausted."

That is an honest observation by Raducanu. Maybe she could have given a bit more credit to her opponent for beating her, but maybe we have a culture now where it is better players don't make confessions about how they feel. Raducanu could have just said, "Though I am still working my way back into form, I am a robot so am incapable of feeling tired."

While speaking on Sky Sports, Keothavong said, "(Raducanu) acknowledged (she was tired) in her interview yesterday, but now when I look back, do you talk yourself into more tiredness? On one hand, it’s good to acknowledge it but on the other hand, if you’re going to go out there on the match court, you’ve got to be prepared to leave it all out there. That willingness just didn’t seem evident."

Maybe the willingness did not appear to be there because Raducanu was so tired. Both things can be true. Still, if I was Emma Raducanu, I wouldn't be rushing back to play for my team at the Billie Jean King Cup if my coach is going to throw me under the bus at other events.

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