Former seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe says he has no regrets over the comments he made about Emma Raducanu 12 months ago as he insists he meant no harm to the 19-year-old. Last year, a wildcard Raducanu reached the Wimbledon round-of-16 before retiring versus Ajla Tomljanovic.
Raducanu retired due to “breathing difficulties” and it looked like she suffered an anxiety attack on the court. “I feel bad for Emma, obviously. It appears it just got a little bit too much, as is understandable,” McEnroe said on the BBC a year ago.
“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.”
McEnroe: I’m on Raducanu’s side
McEnroe, an all-time great who now works as a tennis commentator, says players suffering anxiety attacks on the court has been happening for as long as he has been around tennis.
“I wouldn’t say anything different. I’ve never met Emma I was just giving an educated guess as to what I thought was happening, based on 40 or 45 years being around the professional game. I have four girls of my own,” McEnroe told The Daily Mail.
“It happens all the time. It’s not like she’s the first person it’s happened to, this has been going on as far back as when I was playing.” Further reflecting on what happened 12 months, McEnroe said he was glad Raducanu was able to bounce back at the US Open and win her maiden Grand Slam title.
“I was trying to be supportive of her without exactly knowing what was happening. And I felt bad for her. And I was amazed that she was able to come out of that and suddenly win the US Open. I’m on her side. Just for the good of the game, I’d like to see her be able to reach her potential,” McEnroe said.