John McEnroe slammed for Emma Raducanu comments

John McEnroe suggested Emma Raducanu withdrew from Wimbledon Round of 16 because she couldn't handle the occasion

John McEnroe suggested Emma Raducanu withdrew from Wimbledon Round of 16 because she couldn't handle the occasion

Former Wimbledon champion John McEnroe was slammed for suggesting that Emma Raducanu found playing in the last 16 of Wimbledon “a little too much.”

The British teeange wildcard, who had been on a fairytale run at her home Slam had to retire from her Round of 16 match against Ajla Tomljanovic on medical grounds.

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But McEnroe believes she retired because she could not handle the occasion.


“I feel bad for Emma, obviously,” said McEnroe.

“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 Osaka not even here.”

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Raducanu appeared to suffer stomach cramps and be hyperventilating before pulling out at 0-3 down in the second set.

“How much can players handle?” he said.

“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.

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“I don’t think it helped that the previous match went as long as it did because it made her think about it more,” he added, of her third round win over Sorana Cirstea.

“That’s a lot to take on, especially when you’ve never been there before.

“Maybe it’s not a shame this has happened right now when she is 18. I played this tournament at 18 and in a way I was happy I lost. I was able to understand what it would take to make it.”

After being told about McEnroe’s comments, Tomljanovic said they were “definitely harsh”.

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“I can’t imagine being in her shoes at 18 playing a fourth round in your home country,” she added.

“It’s something I can’t even imagine. For him to say that, it’s definitely harsh. I have experienced something similar but not to that extent.

“I know that it’s a real thing. I’ve spoken to athletes that have gone through that. It’s not easy.”

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McEnroe was also criticised on social media with Dr Alex George, an A&E doctor, tweeting: “I didn’t realise John McEnroe was medically qualified or that he has X-ray vision!”