“STFU” – Martina Navratilova Hits Back at Emma Raducanu’s Critics After US Open 2021 Glory

Published 09/13/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
Sep 11, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Leylah Fernandez of Canada (not pictured) in the women’s singles final on day thirteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


Despite making her debut on the WTA Tour just three months ago, Emma Raducanu has been the breakout star in 2021. In just her second Grand Slam appearance, the Briton shocked the world when she won the US Open a couple of days ago.

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By winning the hard court Grand Slam, Raducanu silenced a few of her critics, which include American tennis legend John McEnroe. Following her victory, 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova called out the teenager’s critics while praising her achievement.

Martina Navratilova believes Emma Raducanu has “silenced the critics”

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During her Grand Slam debut in Wimbledon earlier this year, Raducanu embarked on an impressive run. She defeated higher-ranked players to reach the fourth round of the grass court Grand Slam, where she faced Ajla Tomljanovic. However, she struggled with breathing issues during the match, and withdrew from the tournament.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2021 Britain’s Emma Raducanu reacts during her fourth round match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic REUTERS/Toby Melville

Following this incident, McEnroe made comments mentioning that the Briton couldn’t handle the pressure. He said, “I feel bad for Emma, I mean obviously it got – it appears it got a bit too much, as is understandable, particularly what we’ve been talking about for the last six weeks.”

However, Raducanu‘s victory in New York displayed talent and maturity defying her age of 18. This is a point Navratilova made, while mentioning critics will now be silent. She said“She has very much silenced those critics and I said that at the time ‘STFU’ because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

“She is a star in the making, this is just a hiccup. Little did I know what a small hiccup it really was in the grand scheme of things here. I don’t think those people will be talking anything about her mental fitness ever again.”

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Navratilova: She’s the whole package

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In her praise for Raducanu, the 64-year-old mentioned her mental fortitude and the energy she brings to the court. “She just doesn’t get rattled,” said Navratilova. “She is so switched on in every way and as I say she came out of the box all put together already, no batteries needed. She’s the whole package.”

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During her time in New York, Raducanu made a huge leap in the WTA Rankings. She started the qualifying rounds as the World No. 150, and finished it as the World No. 23.

WATCH STORY: Serena Williams, Pete Sampras and Others Who Made History at US Open as Teenagers

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Sanket Nair

643 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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