Tennis ” billion-dollar girl ” Emma Raducanu has revealed she has been hiding a physical secret from fellow players in the locker room.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu has confessed she doesn’t have any toe nails.
The English teen freak has admitted the intensity of her footwork on the tennis court has destroyed her toe nails just a couple of years into her professional career.
Back on the physically demanding, unforgiving clay surface for the first time in four years, Raducanu has revealed the agony her feet have endured all over again as she made her professional clay court debut in Team Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup qualifying tie against Czech Republic in Prague on Saturday morning.
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Asked how her body was feeling after some recent hip irritation, Raducanu laughed: “It’s okay – but I’ve no toenails now.
“It’s my foot and my shoes, they’ve been sliding around a lot. I had a small niggle in Miami but now I have no physical thing. ”
Raducanu, who last year became the first player ever to win a grand slam in the open era after the start of the US Open as a qualifier, has not played on clay since the French Open juniors four years ago.
It seems her feet can still remember the trauma from her previous battles on the surface.
Her body part reveal has been the talk of the Team Britain locker room as they began their Billie Jean King Cup campaign.
Captain Anne Keothavong joked: “We’ve all been left a little scarred by the sight of Emma’s toes this week!”
Raducanu helped Britain level the tie against Czech Republic 1-1 with a 7-5 7-5 win against Tereza Martincova.
The 19-year-old wrapped up the victory in just over two hours.
The Czechs, playing without two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and former world number one Karolina Pliskova, had taken a 1-0 lead when Marketa Vondrousova defeated Harriet Dart 6-1 6-0.
Raducanu has this year struggled to rediscover the white-hot form she showed when she exploded from nowhere to win the US Open last year.
As a result of lingering injuries and Covid complications, Raducanu has won just two of her seven matches this calendar year.
She was knocked out in the second round at the Australian Open and revealed after her match that she was dealing with significant pain as a result of severe blisters on her hands.
It has not been the path the world expected her to travel following her historic title run in New York.
Renowned publicist Mark Borkowski, who has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, said at the time Raducanu was going to be a “billion-dollar girl”.
“She’s everything that is really positive about the new icons that this age has got to throw up,” he told The Sun.
“In the conflicting culture wars, here we have someone who is young, incredibly talented, has a multicultural background. Everything about her is what every brand would like to get their hands on right now. ”
Raducanu, who was born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother before the family moved to England, burst onto the scene at Wimbledon this year. Unheard of before this year’s third grand slam, she received a late berth in qualifying and stunned everyone by winning through to the fourth round of the main draw, before falling to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Four-time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka is the richest female athlete in the world and a marketer’s dream who, earlier this year, was revealed to have pocketed $ 77 million in the past 12 months – the bulk of that money coming from endorsement deals and sponsorship .
Experts believe Raducanu – who can speak Mandarin – could follow suit if she continues to be successful in her tennis career.