Emma Raducanu: Commentary by John McEnroe, Piers Morgan draws ire

Men criticised for unsympathetic observations after British teenage tennis star was forced to stop playing mid-match.

Former tennis star John McEnroe’s reaction on the BBC’s broadcast to British teenager Emma Raducanu’s mid-match retirement at Wimbledon has put him in the spotlight.

The 18-year-old Raducanu stopped playing while trailing in the second set of her fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday night.

Raducanu was visited by a trainer, then left the court for a medical timeout.

Eventually, the chair umpire announced the 338th-ranked Raducanu, who is of Chinese and Romanian heritage, would not continue because of a health issue, but did not specify why.

“I feel bad for Emma, obviously,” McEnroe told viewers, adding: “It appears it got a bit too much, which is understandable.”

He then made a reference to Naomi Osaka, the four-time major champion who pulled out of the previous Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, and also missed Wimbledon because she said she needed a mental health break.

The 62-year-old seven-time Grand Slam singles champion regularly appears as an analyst on television coverage at the All England Club.

The All England Club has said Raducanu had “difficulty breathing.”

“I can’t imagine being in her shoes, at 18, playing a fourth round in your home country. It’s something I can’t even imagine,” Tomljanovic said, when asked about McEnroe’s comments. “For him to say that, it’s definitely harsh.”

Meanwhile, critics on social media slammed McEnroe, who was known for angry outbursts on the court, and the 56-year-old British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who offered his own commentary on the situation.

“Ms Raducuna’s [sic] a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure & quit when she was losing badly. Not ‘brave’, just a shame,” tweeted Morgan, who recently quit a TV show after being challenged over his views.

“If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was.”

Tennis player Andy Murray said Morgan’s analysis was “harsh”.


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