Emma Raducanu breaks silence on Wimbledon withdrawal after stinging John McEnroe criticism

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Emma Raducanu has broken her silence after withdrawing from Wimbledon on Monday. The 18-year-old trailed Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 0-3 when she had to walk off the court in distress. And she’s since clarified the matter, especially after stinging criticism from John McEnroe.

Raducanu appeared to be suffering from stomach cramps and was hyperventilating before pulling out a 0-3 in the second set.

It was then confirmed she’d withdrawn because of breathing problems and, now, she’s explained why she was forced to withdraw from the tournament.

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“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.

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“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!

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“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.”

McEnroe was critical, and attracted criticism himself, after Raducanu’s withdrawal by saying on the BBC: “I feel bad for Emma, obviously.

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“I’ll start with saying that I can’t imagine being in her shoes at 18, playing a fourth round in your home country.

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

“I can’t imagine how she must be feeling having to pull out. Being down 6-4, 3-0, you can come back from that quickly, especially on grass. It’s really sad that she had to do that.”

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Meanwhile, Tracy Austin believes the moment ‘became too large’ for the youngster.

She said on the BBC’s coverage of the Grand Slam: “I think the moment just became too large. When you go back a week she was really in obscurity. Nobody sides intel Brits knew who Emma Raducanu was.

“I didn’t know who she was or how to say her name last week! All of a sudden she wins three matches as a wildcard and she’s played so well against Cirstea.

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“First time ever on Court One and she even said she played above her level and said she’d never hit some of those shots before and surprised herself.

“All of a sudden she has a day off and she’s all over the papers, all the expectations, and what’s in front of her is the fairytale is still going on and she has a winnable match in the fourth round.

“It’s almost too good to be true for both of them. You have Tomljanovic who’s 75th in the world and Raducanu who is 338th in the world. This may never happen again where you have such a large opportunity to get to the quarter-finals.

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“Both were tight at the beginning and you just squeeze too tight and become overwhelmed because the opportunity is so big. It became real, reality kind of checked in at that point.

“It was a long day, they didn’t start until about 8pm, that’s a long time to think about the match.

“She really has not played enough matches. It was almost just too much. For an 18-year-old with not a lot of foundation and experience, just done her A Levels in April, it was I think a bit too much to ask.

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“It was really tough to see her kind of hyperventilating out there and then not to be able to come back and take that wave of appreciation. The crowd had really done such a good job, they’d done their part to help her get there.”

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