Tennis legend and star broadcaster John McEnroe has stood by his controversial comments on Brit teen Emma Raducanu. Talking to CNN during a recent broadcast, McEnroe mentioned that he stands by everything mentioned earlier.
McEnroe previously suggested — after Raducanu pulled out of Wimbledon in July, due to breathing issues — that the pressure of her grand slam debut “just got a little bit too much” for the rising star.
“I tried to relate it in a small way to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon also at 18,” McEnroe said about his 1977 four-set loss to Jimmy Connors in the semi-finals.
“(Raducanu) did better than I did. I played Jimmy Connors, I hadn’t been on the Centre Court and I remember my legs shaking, feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience and almost happy that I didn’t win.”
“Subsequently, I went to Stanford for a year (after Wimbledon) and had some time to sort of regroup mentally and prepare for the rigors of the tour,” said McEnroe, who in 1978 led the Stanford team to a college championship and won the NCAA singles title.
“There’s a lot of great upsides, but there’s also pressure you put on yourself and expectations others put on you. I mean, that was to me as vanilla as it comes … I was very supportive of her, I thought, at the time.
“You know the papers over in England. Sometimes they make a big deal out of, to me, nothing,
“I don’t think you could possibly do it any better than she did it (at the US Open). That’s insane she’s been able to do this. Of course, pressure comes with that, expectation comes with that. I’m sure she expects to win a lot more moving forward.”
In his previous comments, McEnroe had mentioned that “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 (Naomi) Osaka not even here,” he said in July. “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.”
With her recent win in New York, Raducanu has climbed the ATP tour rankings from No. 336 in the world to 150. She is one of the top rising stars in the game today.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWU8N1hLhwQ