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BBC rallies behind John McEnroe after his comments Emma Raducanu found big match “too much”

The BBC has defended its star tennis presenter John McEnroe after he commented that Wimbledon was “all too much” for teenage player Emma Raducanu.

Ms Raducanu, 18, dropped out of her match against Alja Tomljanovic.

During the tense early exchanges on Court No 1 the British player was seen to be holding her stomach and having trouble breathing.

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Her medical team recommended she forfeit the match.

However, during the game’s analysis McEnroe suggested Ms Raducanu was overawed by the occasion.

He said: “‘It’s a shame.

“I feel bad for Emma.

“It appears like it just got too much which is understandable.

“It makes you look at the guys and girls who have been around for so long and wonder how they handle it.

“Hopefully, she will learn from this experience.

“Maybe it’s not a shame this has happened right now when she is 18.

“I played this tournament at 18 and in a way, I was happy I lost.

“I was able to understand what it would take to make it.

“Allow her to take some deep breaths and maybe get some wildcards.”

The former Wimbledon men’s champion was criticsed for his comments.

But the BBC said: “John McEnroe offered his personal view on the pressures that tennis players face, based on both his own experience and those of current player.

“He was sympathetic to Emma’s situation.”

Ms Raducanu said later:

“I’m obviously very disappointed that I couldn’t finish the match.

“I really, really wanted to be able to compete and try my best.

“But the medical advice was to pull out and yeah, I followed it because I think that their advice was the best in the end.

“I found it very difficult to regulate my breathing, I think it was emphasised by some very long rallies that we had towards the end of the first set which made it tough for me to keep my composure and the breathing in check.

“Then the beginning of the second set was when I struggled with it most and I called the trainer on and yeah made the decision at the end of the change over.”

“I think that it was a combination of everything that’s gone on behind the scenes over the past week,

“And an accumulation of the excitement, the buzz, and you know, it’s a great learning experience for me going forward.

“Next time, going forward, I’ll be better prepared.”

 

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