“Very Harsh”: Andy Murray Furious Over John McEnroe’s Criticism of Emma Raducanu at Wimbledon Championships 2021

Published 07/06/2021, 10:39 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 2, 2021 Great Britain’s Andy Murray in action during his third round match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


18-year-old Emma Raducanu had an inspirational journey to the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships 2021. She was a wildcard entrant and her run ended against Ajla Tomljanovic after Raducanu experienced difficulties in breathing. However, John McEnroe wasn’t impressed and alleged that her nerves got better of her. However, former World No.1 Andy Murray has sided with the young Brit.

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John McEnroe’s criticism of Emma Raducanu

Britain’s Emma Raducanu reacts during her fourth-round match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic REUTERS/Toby Melville

McEnroe has been criticized for his remarks. He alleged that Raducanu couldn’t handle the pressure of reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon. Moreover, he drew comparisons with the older generation of players and inferred that they handled the situation better.

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“I feel bad for Emma, obviously. It appears it just got a little bit too much, as is understandable, particularly with what we’ve been talking about this over the last six weeks with Osaka not even here. How much can players handle? It makes you look at the guys that have been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle it. Hopefully she’ll learn from this experience,” McEnroe said.

Andy Murray sides with Emma Raducanu

Andy Murray leaves court after losing his third round match against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Siding with John McEnroe was British journalist, Piers Morgan. But former World No.1 Andy Murray believes the 18-year-old has been harshly criticized. He tweeted: “think this is a very harsh take on the situation Piers.”

Moreover, commenting on mental toughness, Murray argued with Raducanu’s critics. He understood that some of the great players have mental toughness, however, Raducanu can’t be judged in that regard based on her match against Ajla Tomljanovic.

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“No question mental toughness can be what separates the best in sport but surely both of you aren’t judging her mental toughness on yesterday’s match?!” Murray explained.

Raducanu’s case has been compared to Naomi Osaka‘s recent rejection of press conferences. But the 18-year-old’s career is in infancy and hence can’t be judged on mental toughness just yet. Moreover, Osaka has a history of mental illness so comparing the two cases is difficult. Raducanu has to be given some time to prove her mettle on the tour.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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