Emma Raducanu: BBC release statement as John McEnroe causes a stir – ‘He was sympathetic’

Emma Raducanu recalls her on-court experience at Wimbledon

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The BBC have now released a statement defending John McEnroe’s “personal view” after the American tennis icon caused a stir with his comments on 18-year-old Emma Raducanu. The British tennis sensation was a set and a break down against Ajla Tomljanovic on Court One at Wimbledon when she appeared to be struggling with her breathing.

After receiving medical attention and leaving the court, it was soon announced that she would not be returning and was retiring from the match.

The Wimbledon crowd were clearly stunned with sympathetic messages soon flooding social media from viewers.

No specific reason was giving for Raducanu’s withdrawal other than Wimbledon tweeting it was for “medical reasons”.

But McEnroe faced a huge backlash following his comments where he stated the occasion was just too much for young Raducanu to cope with.

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“It appears it just got a little bit too much, as is understandable, particularly with what we’ve been talking about this over the last six weeks with [Naomi] Osaka not even here,” he said.

“How much can players handle?

“It makes you look at the guys that have been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle it.

“Hopefully she’ll learn from this experience.”


The BBC though have stood by the seven-time Grand Slam champion’s remarks, insisting McEnroe was “sympathetic” to Raducanu.

A statement to the Daily Telegraph said: “John McEnroe offered his personal view on the pressures that tennis players face, based on both his own experience and those of current player.

“He was sympathetic to Emma’s situation.”

Late on Monday night, Wimbledon confirmed that Raducanu had “difficulty breathing” as she left the court.

Raducanu released a statement on Tuesday morning, thanking all her new fans for their support.

“I wanted to let everyone know that I am feeling much better this morning,” she wrote on social media.

“First up, I want to congratulate Ajla on an incredible performance and I’m sorry our match ended the way it did.

“I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me.

“At the end of the first set, after some super intense rallies, I started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy.

“The medical team advised me not to continue and although it felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to carry on.

“I want to thank the people who have cheered me on every single match, I wanted to win so badly for you!

“I also want to thank the All England Club, my team, the LTA, my parents and friends. Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top.

“I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger! Can’t wait to see what’s next on my journey.”

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