Emma Raducanu's groundbreaking US Open success two years ago is something that is unlikely to be repeated, according to super-agent Max Eisenbud.
IMG's Max Eisenbud, who represents Raducanu and was a former agent of Maria Sharapova, spoke in depth on the Tennis Podcast on various topics, including that of his client - British star Raducanu, touching on her seismic win at the 2021 US Open and her approach to hiring coaches.
Raducanu was relatively unknown to the tennis fraternity, having never played a Grand Slam main draw match before the 2021 US Open and hadn't even won a WTA main draw match. But she rendered all those stats irrelevant in three weeks of pure of fantasy at Flushing Meadows.
Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam, and doing so without dropping a set. Eisenbud sensed Raducanu was on the verge of something special when she got to the fourth round and was getting his team prepared behind the scenes to foster potential deals for her client.
"Well, that was incredible. What she did will never happen again."
"I would say once she got to the fourth round, what's happening behind the scenes that the IMG machine is activating. What does that mean? That means we're reaching to the head of the IMG fashion to say okay, this is happening, can you watch this run, can you start talking to the brands, and maybe we invite them to the matches?"
The scrutiny from media, fans, and sponsors was reaching a fever pitch. And Eisenbud, Head of IMG, was already closing significant deals with big-name companies in different fields, doing all this while keeping Raducanu off the loop until when she made the semis.
"What makes IMG great is we have all these experts in different fields. I call Will Ward who's got relationships with all the best brands - Dior, Channel - so we start activating him. Then we're doing the same thing in all different categories."
"We're starting to light the IMG machine in getting all these experts within our system to start getting their contacts to start watching what's happening because something is starting to happen."
Raducanu's success has been a flash-in-the-pan story, with the Brit struggling to maintain a decent spell of good health on the court. Raducanu has also come under criticism for her chopping and changing coaches in recent years. Eisenbud said it is something, whether right or wrong, that her dad and Raducanu control.