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LAURA CRAIK IS UPFRONT

Laura Craik on the rush to iconise Emma Raducanu, her lust for a phone that never gets full and children’s jab jurisdiction

Don’t you just hate it when you miss the most incredible sporting event of the millennium because you’re
a fairweather tennis fan who was watching something else? My youngest was on a sleepover, prompting me to ditch the US Open and capitalise on this rare opportunity not to have to watch obscure Japanese anime. ‘Let’s watch an adult film,’ I said, by which I meant ‘one with mild nudity and swearing’, just to be clear.

In a rare instance of family unity, mum, dad and teenager settled down with a takeaway to watch Promising Young Woman. Just 29 minutes in, the youngest was returned home with a stomach ache, and by the time I’d settled her, all prospect of watching Emma Raducanu become the youngest Grand Slam champion since 2004 and the first British woman to win a Grand Slam title since 1977 had gone.

Waking up the next morning felt a bit like it did when Princess Diana died, in a polar opposite kind of way. With Diana, a heroine was abruptly taken from us. With Raducanu, a heroine was abruptly bestowed. The suddenness of her passage from 18-year-old tennis hopeful to tennis talent of the century, resilient genius, money-making machine and poster girl for immigration is dizzying.

Before you could say, ‘She’s projected to earn a hundred million twillon zillion in her lifetime,’ she was plonked on to the red carpet at the Met Gala, dripping in Chanel.

“If anyone can handle Kim Kardashian making muffled tennis small talk from behind a Balenciaga bodystocking, it is Raducanu”

Hopefully, Raducanu is enjoying the ride. If anyone can handle Kim Kardashian making muffled tennis small talk from behind a black Balenciaga bodystocking, it is she. But can everyone calm down, please? Phenomenally talented and inspiring as she is, Emma Raducanu is only 18.

Being a tennis champion requires extreme mental resilience. Being a symbol of so many other expectations requires resilience of a different kind. She signed up to win at tennis. She didn’t sign up to be an icon, a poisoned chalice that will always be a losing game.

Silver service: Emma Raducanu with her US Open trophy

Terror of running out of bytes

I currently have 20,352 photos, 989 videos, 4,781 emails, five versions of ‘You’ve Got The Love’ and God only knows how many WhatsApp messages on my iPhone.

As a digital hoarder, my worst nightmare is that my storage runs out: the cloud is all very well, but for someone who likes all 351 pics of their dog close to hand, it’s just too nebulous. Which is how I found myself tuning in to Apple’s keynote speech, piqued by rumours that storage was going to be beefed up. Sure enough, the new iPhone 13 promises 1TB of storage, and I’m here for it. One day, I’ll be less tethered to my tech. Until them, I like my iPhones like I like my handbags: roomy enough to hold all my emotional baggage.

Vaccination child’s play

As any parent of school-age kids will know, Covid is sweeping through classrooms as rapaciously as it ever has.

The argument for vaccinating 12-15-year-olds might be strong, but I’m flabbergasted at the Government’s suggestion that they make their own minds up about whether to have the jab ‘if they’re deemed competent enough to make that decision’. All over the city, competent kids are making the decision to smoke and drink: decisions made in sanity, but still unwise ones. I’m not saying vaccinating kids is unwise, but allowing them to overrule their parents on such a complex decision sets a dangerous precedent.

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