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Raducanu 'stands by decision' which ended Murray's Wimbledon career

Britain's Emma Raducanu crashed out of Wimbledon against Lulu Sun (HENRY NICHOLLS)
Britain's Emma Raducanu crashed out of Wimbledon against Lulu Sun (HENRY NICHOLLS)

Emma Raducanu defended her controversial decision which ended Andy Murray's Wimbledon career by withdrawing from their mixed doubles match on the eve of her fourth round singles defeat against Lulu Sun.

Raducanu was scheduled to play with former Wimbledon champion Murray on Saturday, but opted to pull out of the tie due to a stiff wrist.

The 2021 US Open champion wanted to avoid aggravating the problem prior to Sunday's 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 loss to New Zealand qualifier Sun on Centre Court.

But the move provoked criticism as it shattered Murray's hopes of one last appearance at the All England Club.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was unable to play the men's singles as he was not fully recovered from surgery on spinal cyst, while he lost in the first round of the men's doubles alongside brother Jamie.

Murray was said to be disappointed by Raducanu's withdrawal, while the former world number one's mother Judy described the move as "astonishing" on X, although she later claimed she was being sarcastic and understood the 21-year-old's decision.

Asked if she regretted the move that ruined Murray's Wimbledon farewell, Raducanu said: "Yesterday morning I just woke up with stiffness. I have to prioritise myself, my singles and my body.

"Of course, I didn't want to take his last match away from him. But at the end of the day I think a lot of the players in a similar situation would have done the same thing, prioritising their body.

"I stand by the decision. Yeah, obviously it was a tough decision, though."

Murray is now set to play for the last time in his career at the Paris Olympics, which start in later in July.

- 'Put myself first' -

"People are entitled to their opinions. Of course, there was a bit of a cloud around the decision," she said.

"I think in this sport especially, as an individual, you have to make your own calls and prioritise yourself. Especially with my history, I just had to put myself first.

"Obviously disappointed because it's his last match. But, yeah, what a champion. I think that hopefully he'll play in the Olympics and have another farewell there."

Responding to Murray's mother, Raducanu added: "I haven't seen her reaction, so I don't know. Was she sarcastic? I'm sure she didn't mean it."

Raducanu had come into Wimbledon in good form after a dismal period since her fairytale triumph as an 18-year-old at the US Open.

But she still needed a wildcard to enter the singles after falling out of the top 100, making it hard for her to imagine the eventual schedule conflict between the singles and mixed doubles.

"I think going into the tournament, I wasn't expecting to make fourth round. So for me it was a no-brainer. I would have loved to have played with him," she said.

"He didn't ask me, If you're still in the singles, are you going to play? That was never a question to be answered."

Ironically, Raducanu was troubled by other injuries in her loss to Sun, as back and ankle problems played a role in her last 16 exit.

Despite the frustrating end to her Wimbledon run, Raducanu has finally rediscovered her passion for the sport.

"Honestly, it just makes me more determined. I think I really put myself first in the last few weeks. Tennis is the only thing that is really occupying my time, my mind. It's all I want to do really," she said.

"I think that desire and fire is back. I just want to keep building on that."

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