Emma Raducanu backed to show mental fortitude to recover from Wimbledon exit following John McEnroe comments

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Emma Raducanu has been backed to show the mental fortitude to recover from her Wimbledon exit.

The headline-grabbing teenager, the story of the first week of Wimbledon, was unable to properly bid farewell to the home crowd after her championships ended in the bowels of No1 Court while receiving medical aid for breathing difficulties.

The problem appeared to surface after losing the opening set to Ajla Tomljanovic, the 18-year-old holding her stomach and appearing to hyperventilate, which was seemingly exacerbated when asked to wear a mask as part of the Covid medical protocol in order to be treated.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

But Tomljanovic, who takes on countrywoman Ash Barty in the quarter-finals later on Tuesday, said she had already been impressed by Raducanu’s mental strength on her Grand Slam debut.

“I wasn’t surprised with her level of tennis because there’s been so many young girls that can hit the ball,” she said. “I get more impressed with young girls being at this stage so early, handling it mentally. At 18, I don’t even remember what I was like but I wasn’t doing that. I find that impressive.”

The previously unheralded Raducanu was handed a wildcard intp the women’s singles and became a household name after her aggressive style and affinity with the crowd merited three successive wins for the world No338.

And Tomljanovic said she had the game to remain a force on the world stage going forward. “She looked like a really aggressive baseliner with a good serve,” she said. “Not much she didn’t know how to do. From both sides she’s solid. I really wish her all the best.”

Raducanu, who is awaiting her A-level results in maths and economics in the coming weeks, is not expected to face a lengthy hiatus from tennis with her team keen to get her back into competitive action as soon as possible, admittedly on a less high-profile stage than Wimbledon’s show courts.

And John McEnroe said the manner of her demise in abandoning the match when 6-4 3-0 behind could yet prove a positive in her career trajectory.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

“Maybe it’s not a shame this happened right now when she is 18,” said the three-time Wimbledon singles champion. “I played this event for the first time when I was 18 and I was able to qualify and go to the semi-finals, and I felt it was overwhelming, the change in my life.

“In a way I was happy I lost. It allowed me to be a kid. I went to college for a year, I was able to get an understanding of what it was going to take to make it on the circuit – what it would entail emotionally, mentally, physically.”

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