Emma Raducanu says “the whole experience caught up with me” as she explained why she had to withdraw from her last 16 game at Wimbledon.
The 18-year-old Briton had a superb fourth-round race at SW19 in her very first Grand Slam tournament.
Raducanu had a dream run at Wimbledon, although it ended on a disappointing note
Raducanu defied all expectations by completing the second week, entering the tournament ranked 338th in the world and not making her debut on the women’s circuit until June.
She became only the fourth British teenager to advance to the round of 16 at Wimbledon in the Open era, beating two opponents in the top 50 along the way.
But her fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic ended abruptly as she was forced to retire midway through the second set.
Raducanu needed a medical time out off the field as she trailed 6-4 3-0 and duly retired.
Raducanu had difficulty breathing and was forced to retire prematurely
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the starlet said: “I wanted to let everyone know that I am feeling a lot better this morning.
“First of all I want to congratulate Ajla on an incredible performance and I’m sorry our game 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 really intense exchanges, I started to breathe heavily and I felt dizzy. The medical team advised me not to continue and although it seemed like the most difficult thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to continue.
“I want to thank the people who cheered me on in every game, I wanted so much to win 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 in helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top.
« I will cherish everything we have accomplished together this week and will come back stronger! » I can’t wait to see the rest of my trip.
thanks for the support❤️ pic.twitter.com/C47TTvOQK9
– Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) July 6, 2021
Andy Murray had come out on Raducanu’s defense earlier Tuesday amid suggestions the teenager “couldn’t take the pressure” at Wimbledon.
BBC commentator John McEnroe suggested she found the last 16 “a bit too much” and drew parallels with Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from Roland Garros and Wimbledon due to depression and anxiety.
McEnroe has been criticized for his comments from multiple sides, but gained support from Piers Morgan on social media.
TV bigmouth Morgan said, “McEnroe spoke the truth. Ms Raducuna (sic) is a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure and gave up as she was losing badly. Not “brave”, just a shame. If I were her I would tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe and ask him for advice on how to toughen up and become a champion like he was.
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen also came out in apparent agreement with Morgan as he said mental toughness was what separated good athletes from great ones, although he later insisted that he was not referring to Raducanu’s situation.
Quoting Morgan’s Twitter post, Pietersen commented, “Talent is one thing, but mental toughness is what separates the good from the great in sports! Dealing with pressure, bad form, negative media, etc. is HARD, but it’s sport. It is demanding. Treat it, or someone else will take care of it for you! «
Murray responded to Pietersen’s comment, who then backtracked and insisted he was not referring directly to Raducanu
Both of these messages prompted a response from Murray – the greatest British tennis player of his generation, and arguably of any generation.
Murray’s stepfather Nigel Sears is Raducanu’s coach.
The three-time Grand Slam champion, two-time gold medalist and knight of the kingdom said in response to Morgan: “It’s a very harsh view of the Piers situation.”
Murray then responded to Pietersen’s intervention: “There is no doubt that mental toughness can be what separates the best in the sport, but surely you both don’t judge his mental toughness on yesterday’s game. ?!
While Morgan retorted that the reaction to what McEnroe said was “absurdly OTT,” Murray then replied, “I think part of what he (McEnroe) said was right yes. what his problem was, it was injury / illness / breathing issues etc. at the time of his comments. «
Murray responded to Morgan’s comment on Twitter
Wimbledon organizers earlier issued a statement wishing Raducanu good luck and defending the match schedule.
Breaking from convention, the contest was the last game on Court One despite all other women’s games having been played earlier today before Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
The All England Club said in a statement: “We were very sad to see Emma forced to withdraw from her game last night and wish her the best for her recovery.
“She is to be commended for the poise and maturity she has shown throughout the Wimbledon fortnight and we look forward to welcoming her back to Wimbledon next year and in the years to come.”
A men’s five-set match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alexander Zverev meant Raducanu and Tomljanovic only stepped out onto the pitch shortly before 8 p.m., allowing the competition to be broadcast in prime time on BBC One.
The statement continued: “Regarding the scheduling, as always, scheduling the order of play on each day at the championships is a complex operation and, although we are very careful when scheduling matches and day-to-day land allocation, this is not the case. an exact science.
“All decisions are made with fairness and in the best interests of the tournament, the players, spectators and our global broadcast audience, but the unpredictable nature of match lengths and the UK weather can and will disrupt any schedule. ”