Emma Raducanu is criticized for taking Olympic path of other noteworthy players

The 2021 US Open champion's decision is being judged unfairly
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Tennis's court of public opinion that likes to air its thoughts on social media is criticizing Emma Raducanu for her decision to forego the Paris Olympics to focus on Wimbledon and the US Open.

Raducanu is following the path of Ben Shelton and Paula Badosa in opting out of the Olympic competition. One of the main reasons for this is the surface change in a short time. Though clay court season has ended, Olympic players currently focusing on grass will pivot back to clay before hitting the hardcourts later in the summer.

Emma Raducanu has experienced many injuries resulting in multiple surgeries on her hands and feet in 2023 that kept her out of the game. She is trying to maintain a stretch of good health to find her form. Raducanu has also been harshly judged for not following up her maiden Grand Slam success with another successful run at a Grand Slam title.

The Olympic decision is a big one for tennis players

The majority of other sports pause professional action over the timespan of the Olympics so players can focus on that singular event. That is not the case for tennis with its 11-month schedule and for top players, points to defend to keep their rankings. One noteworthy example is the ATP and WTA 500 Mubadala Citi Open in Washington, DC begins the day after the Olympics open on July 26. Whereas no ranking points are offered for Olympic competition, ranking points are still being awarded for participating in the tournaments happening while the Olympics are taking place in Paris.

It is not fair for the media to heap criticism on Raducanu for a decision that impacts her career, ranking, earnings, and quality of life. The WTA and ATP Tours do not prioritize the Olympics so the players have to make significant decisions for their well-being.

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Olympic competition especially in 2024 is not for every tennis player. It is past time for media pundits and tennis fans to stop judging the players who choose not to represent their countries.

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