Eddie Jones takes swipe at Emma Raducanu with advice for youngster Marcus Smith

Eddie Jones has suggested tennis sensation Emma Raducanu’s ‘distractions’ off the court are the reasons for her struggles since winning the US Open.

Raducanu made history in September as she became the first ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam, winning the US Open without dropping a set.

Since bursting onto the scene at Flushing Meadows, Raducanu has become a global star and made several public appearances at the likes of the Met Gala and the premiere of the new James Bond film.

But England rugby head coach Jones believes the teenager has become distracted and has warned fly-half Smith, the 22-year-old seen as the next breakout star of the game, not to follow in the same path.

‘The big thing for good young players is distractions,’ Jones said.

‘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.

‘There’s a reason why the young girl (Raducanu) who won the US Open hasn’t done so well afterwards.

‘What have you seen her on – the front page of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes. All that is a distraction around her.

‘Marcus [Smith] is grounded, but they all start out grounded. No-one starts with their feet off the ground or they don’t get in the team and they don’t win a US Open.

‘They all start grounded, but there are a flood of distractions which come in, which can make them ungrounded.’

Raducanu has played just four matches since her win in New York with the first being a disappointing exit in the second round at Indian Wells.

The British No.1 then regained some form with two wins at the Transylvania Open last month before exiting at the quarter-finals stage.

As Raducanu continues to find her feet on the WTA Tour, she insists her tennis will always come first regardless of off-court commitments.

‘I made it very, very clear to every single person in my team that I was not going to cancel one training session or practice session for any off-court commitments,’ she said.

‘That was a non-negotiable for me. I wanted to make sure that that is my priority and it is.’

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