Andy Murray hits back at Piers Morgan, Kevin Pietersen over their take on Emma Raducanu’s retirement

Wimbledon
Emma Raducanu in discomfort

Andy Murray believes Piers Morgan’s reaction to Emma Raducanu’s retirement from her Wimbledon fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic “is a very harsh take”.

Playing in the Wimbledon main draw for the first time, the 18-year-old Raducanu went on a fairytale as she became the youngest British woman to reach the last 16.

After a brilliant opening set was edged 6-4 by Tomljanovic, the teenager started to struggle to breathe in the second set and the Australian built a handy lead.

Raducanu called for the trainer at 3-0 down and took an off-court medical timeout before retiring with breathing difficulties later given as the official reason for her retirement.

Wimbledon organisers send Emma Raducanu best wishes and defend scheduling of matches

After the match tennis great John McEnroe’s suggested that Raducanu could not handle the pressure.

“I feel bad for Emma, obviously,” he told the BBC. “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.”

The American has been widely criticised for his views, but he has found an ally in former Good Morning Britain host Morgan.

“McEnroe told the truth. Ms Raducuna’s a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure & quit when she was losing badly,” Morgan wrote on Twitter. “Not ‘brave’, just a shame. If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was.”

Former world No 1 Murray, though, disagrees with Morgan.

“Think this is a very harsh take on the situation Piers,” he responded to the original tweet.

Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen then also got involved as he tweeted that “mental toughness is what separates the good from the great in sport!”.

But again Murray was unimpressed by the comments.

“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?!” he replied.

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