Emma Raducanu ‘going to be fine’ as encouraging health update offered after Wimbledon exit
Emma Raducanu is feeling fine physically and will address her worrying Wimbledon withdrawal in the public eye shortly. That’s the belief of former British women’s No 1 Anne Keothavong, who is confident the young Briton will be “stronger” for the experience of her fourth-round retirement.
Keothavong, the captain of Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup team, has known about Raducanu’s talent for years having watched her since she was just 11 years old.
And the 18-year-old announced herself to the world with a stunning run at Wimbledon in which she dumped out Vitalia Diatchenko, 2020 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova and world No 45 Sorana Cirstea.
But Raducanu’s magical debut streak at the grass-court Grand Slam came to an end on Court One on Monday night as the teenager was forced to withdraw from her match against Ajla Tomljanovic.
After losing the first set, she received medical attention from the trainer and doctor while trailing 3-0 in the second and was evidently struggling to breathe.
After a medical timeout, the chair umpire confirmed Raducanu would not return to the court and it was later confirmed by Wimbledon that the British sensation had endured “”difficulty breathing”.
Raducanu has yet to speak publicly about her retirement but Keothavong offered an update on her countryman’s condition and insists she is fine.
And the former tennis pro, who was sat by Raducanu’s mum courtside during the match, said on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “She’s OK. She’s going to be fine.
“Last night I saw her leave the Club and obviously it was just a difficult situation for her to be in and for everyone to witness. But she’ll be just fine.
“In terms of her preparation her and her team did everything exactly the same. They prepared exactly the same as they do for her other matches.
“She purposefully stayed over at Aorangi instead of practicing on the main courts before her match just to stay out of the public eye. They did everything they could to prepare her as well as they did.
“It was just unfortunate. Had she played earlier in the day, a similar thing may have unfolded as well. It was always going to be a difficult match given the hype and the buzz around it.
“She’ll learn from this. It’s been a fantastic Wimbledon debut for her and next year she’ll come better prepared and stronger for it.
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“It’s never easy. Her parents were sat nearby and her mum wanted to see her. It’s never easy for anyone to see their child in that much discomfort and out there for the rest of the world to see as well.
“They’re a tight family, they’re good people and they just want the best for her. I’m sure they’ll be able to give that.”
Asked how Raducanu’s team now protect her, she added: “It’s difficult because everyone’s going to want a piece of her. But she’s got good people around her who will do whatever they can to make sure her feet stay on the ground.
“She’s a sensible young girl and she still hasn’t played a full year on the tour yet. She’ll just want to get back at it.
“Knowing her the way I do, she works hard, she’s got a great work ethic, she’ll want to be back on the practice court as soon as possible and fly out to her next tournament as soon as she can but it is a lot to take in.
“We do have to remind ourselves she’s still very young and this is all still very new.”
“I don’t think she really needs my advice. She’s got good people around her. She will be well protected.
“She’ll want to put something on social media later today or I’m sure she’ll face up to the media later today and give her side of what happened last night and give an explanation.
“She’s that type of person. She’s had a fabulous experience overall, it’s just a shame it had to end the way it did last night. But she’ll be stronger for it.”
Tomljanovic will take on fellow Australian and world No 1 Ashleigh Barty in the Wimbledon quarter-finals after Raducanu’s retirement.
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