John McEnroe on whether or not Emma Raducanu should take time off after Wimbledon exit

Wimbledon
Emma Raducanu disappointed

Emma Raducanu is “one of the best players in the world” at the moment and a taking a break from tennis is not an answer to her current woes, according to John McEnroe.

Following her fairytale runs last year at Wimbledon – where she reached the fourth round – and the US Open – where she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam – life at the top has been a lot more difficult for Raducanu since the start of the year.

The 19-year-old has struggled with injury and illness while her form on court has been patchy as she has won two matches in a row just twice on the circuit this year.

Her latest loss, a 6-3, 6-3 defeat at the hands of Caroline Garcia in the second round at Wimbledon, has led to suggestions that a break from tennis would do her well.

The British No 1 herself has shrugged off suggestions that she is feeling the pressure.

When asked if Raducanu should take some a few months off and come back and focus on the WTA Tour, seven-time Grand Slam winner McEnroe told the BBC’s 6-Love-6: Return of the Mac programme: “She is currently, I believe, 11 in the world. She won the US Open so she is a Grand Slam winner. To me that should tell her and the players around her that she is one of the best players in the world.

“I don’t care how old she is, how inexperienced she is, she is better than the other players. So why would she sort of pull back and start over? Obviously there is a lot of expectation when you win a major, you are super excited, she is super talented, she seems like a great girl, marketer’s dream, she’s got sponsors.

“She has switched, corrected me if I am wrong, four different coaches in the last year. That seems strange, especially dumping your coach when you’ve won something. Just superstition alone I would not do that. You stick with that person for another major or two.”

Former British No 1 Tim Henman, though, feels the teenager should be given more time to develop.

“She is a very talented tennis player, she has got a great attitude, she is a hard worker, but the reason why she is losing at the moment is because of her lack of physical resilience. She is getting these injuries, she hasn’t really had these training blocks.

“Right now she is going to have a few days off after Wimbledon then I think she has got to get right back at it. She has got to get in the gym, she has got to get fitter, stronger, faster. Then she will give herself the opportunity to show her tennis skills.

“The last word I will say is ‘patience’. She is 19, she is going to be a phenomenal player, she is going to win many more big tournaments so she has to be patient as well.”

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