If Emma Raducanu gets knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open by Sloane Stephens it wouldn’t be a cause for great panic.
Nor would it be if she went on to have an underwhelming season.
I think most reasonable folk would expect her to take a few months or longer to find a new path for herself after enjoying pretty much overnight success in the US Open last year at such a young age.
As well as dealing with all the publicity, the money, the pressure and the changing expectations, she’s working with a new coach.
And even if she never won another tournament, nobody will ever be able to take away the achievement of winning one of the biggest events in the sport.
But what I do think we can say is her career trajectory is not one you would choose if you wanted to be at the top for a long time.
The Brit lasted just 55 minutes in season-opener.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) January 11, 2022
The gradual progression of someone like Andy Murray is much more sustainable.
The best way of putting it is, ideally, you would plan to get from A to Z over a long period of time, learning your lessons and improving as you go.
Emma has gone straight from A to Z in one go.
She’s now having to go back and fill in the letters in between, which is no easy task.
Canada take great pride in having the most competitive and clear-cut process for getting into their curling teams for an Olympic Games.
But, as far as their mixed is concerned, it’s been anything but that this time around.
Usually, all the curlers know where they stand.
It’s a straightforward case of whoever wins the Olympic trials gets the seats on the plane.
That worked fine with the men’s and the women’s for Beijing.
The teams skipped by Jennifer Jones and Brad Gushue came out on top.
But the cancellation of the mixed trials because of Covid has caused them all sorts of problems.
They’ve had to make it up as they go along – with not much time to do it.
Canada’s first Mixed Doubles curling game at #Beijing2022 is in *26 days*.
Canada doesn’t yet have a team named.
— ottguy (@ottguy) January 7, 2022
I’d heard lots of rumours about who would get selected and now they’ve announced it will be John Morris and Rachel Homan.
Canada have got a policy of not using curlers in the mixed who are competing in the men’s and women’s.
Turns out that they’ve stuck to that.
They probably won’t leave their trials quite so late in four years!
As the world number one, Erin Jackson was the favourite to win the US trials in the 500m but slipped and Brittany Bowe won the race.
But Bowe gave up her spot so Jackson will get the chance to race.
The cynic in me wonders whether the fact that she’s got two other races to focus on was the biggest factor but I’m sure the decision came from a good place!
If either of them win gold it will be one of the feel-good stories of the Games.