EMMA RADUCANU BREAKS SILENCE ON TEAM GB PARIS OLYMPICS SNUB - 'NOT A DIVA'

Emma Raducanu has laid out the exact reasons why she opted against competing for Team GB at the Paris Olympics, while also rejecting the idea that she is a "diva" for turning down a wildcard.

The 2021 US Open champion was offered one of two places by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) that are reserved for former Grand Slam champions, having been ranked too low to qualify as she continues her comeback from injury, but she decided against taking up the offer.

Katie Boulter, who defeated Raducanu at the Nottingham Open en route to defending her title, will be the sole women's singles selection. Andy Murray was also announced as part of the LTA's selections alongside Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Dan Evans in the men's singles category.

But Raducanu opted against joining them on the Paris clay, having already skipped this year's French Open in order to focus on her fitness. The 21-year-old hit back at the idea that the decision was made "in a diva way" and claimed that she did not want "additional stress" physically that would hamper her road to a full recovery, after surgeries on both wrists and ankle last year.

"For me, it was pretty clear from the start. I'm very single-minded, I do things my own way and at my own time, whenever I want, not in a diva way, but prioritising my body and my health," Raducanu said.

"If I'm fit, if I'm giving 100 per cent, I know great things are coming. I just don't think there's any need to put additional stress on my body or any risks, especially with my [injury] history.

"I love playing for my country. I think that was pretty clear at the Billie Jean King Cup. I did enjoy the week in France very much. But the Olympics is just not the right time for me this year."

Iain Bates, LTA Olympic team leader and head of women's tennis, insisted that he was "very comfortable" to hear of Raducanu's decision, knowing the challenges that come with playing on clay between Wimbledon's grass and the hard court of the US Open.

"We were notified on Thursday that Emma would be eligible for one of those (ITF) places," Bates explained. "I've had various conversations with Emma over the last couple of weeks and indeed over a longer period where it is really clear to me how much being part of a British team at the Olympics would mean to her.

"I think she will get many experiences in the future, come LA (2028 Olympics) hopefully when she is 25 and hopefully a medal shot. From an Olympic team side or head of women's tennis side, I'm very comfortable with the decision that she's made."

2024-06-17T09:50:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd