Raducanu Hits Back At Criticism Of Attending Dubai Hotel Opening Before Playing In Doha

Raducanu Hits Back At Criticism Of Attending Dubai Hotel Opening Before Playing In Doha

by Nurein Ahmed

Emma Raducanu has responded to criticism of her decision to travel to Doha within 48 hours of her opening match when she had an additional two days to do so.

Last month, British tennis star Raducanu participated in the WTA's Middle East swing, playing at the Abu Dhabi Open and Qatar Open. She defeated Marie Bouzkova in straight sets to score just her third win of the season in the UAE's capital.

But she was outplayed by Ons Jabeur in the subsequent round, losing 4-6, 1-6. The match against the Tunisian took place on Wednesday. Raducanu was scheduled to appear in Doha the following week.

And because she would be unseeded, she was expected to play her first-round match there either on Monday or Tuesday. Instead, Raducanu preferred to extend her stay in the UAE and traveled to Dubai to attend the grand opening of a luxurious hotel.

Some high-profile personalities were there, including British model Naomi Campbell and American actress and singer Vanessa Hudgens, with whom Raducanu maintains a close friendship.

The official opening of the One&Only One Za’abeel hotel occurred on Saturday night. Raducanu was seated at the dining table with Naomi Campbell and later posed for a photo with Hudgens.

The former World No. 10 traveled to Doha the following day and made it in time to play Anhelina Kalinina in the first round on Tuesday afternoon. But she was in dire form as she lost 0-6, 6-7. Shortly after the match, the 21-year-old was highly critical of her own performance.

Raducanu was also criticized by the British press for her abject preparation for the match in Doha, and it was only then that her glamorous appearance in Dubai hit the front pages.

The former US Open champion was clearly not pleased by the reaction and criticism and recently defended her decision-making when speaking to The Times.

Contrary to the unpopular opinion that she was in Dubai for the glitterati meetup, Raducanu revealed that she had been training during the four days there and only attended the celebrity-filled dinner during her time off.

"I think that I trained [with] three hours of tennis, an hour and a half in the gym and had two hours off in the evening. But I don’t know, you should tell me what I should do in my off time from 8pm till 10pm."

"It’s basically like training in Dubai and then having a nice dinner with a lot of people. The only difference is my dinners go public."


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