Emma Raducanu faces hostile grilling on contentious decision to pull out of Andy Murray doubles

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu faces a tough press conference at Wimbledon
Emma Raducanu faces a tough press conference at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu came under fire for her decision to pull out of the Wimbledon mixed doubles with Andy Murray, but she has hit back by insisting the decision was a ‘no brainer’.

Raducanu was stunned by qualifier Lulu Sun as her encouraging Wimbledon run came to a disappointing end in the fourth round.

The 21-year-old had inspired hopes of more US Open-style heroics by coming through her opening three matches without dropping a set.

But she looked nervous against powerful New Zealander Sun, the first qualifier to make the women’s singles quarter-finals here in 14 years, and, despite battling to force a deciding set, slumped to a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 defeat.

Her post-match press conference was dominated by questions about her move to withdraw from the doubles with Murray, with the decision ending his career at Wimbledon.

“I don’t think it was a mistake (to enter the doubles) because I was feeling fine, then yesterday morning just woke up with stiffness,” she said.

“I have to prioritise myself, my singles and my body. I think it was the right decision. I stand by the decision.

“Yeah, obviously it was a tough decision, though, because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.

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“Of course, I didn’t want to take his last match away from him, but at the end of the day, I think a lot of the players in a similar situation would have done the same thing, prioritising their body. Yeah, I still stand by making the right call.

“I think with every decision, people are entitled to their opinions. Of course, there was a bit of a cloud around the decision.

“I don’t think I would have done it any other way. I think in this sport especially, as an individual, you have to make your own calls and prioritize yourself. Especially with my history, I just had to put myself first.”

When asked how Murray reacted when she told him she was pulling out she said: “I mean, obviously disappointed because it’s his last match.

“But, yeah, what a champion. I think that hopefully he’ll play in the Olympics and have another farewell there.”

The hostile questioning didn’t stop there, as Raducanu admitted her singles progress at Wimbledon took her by surprise and contributed to the decision to pull out of the mixed doubles.

“I think going into the tournament, I wasn’t expecting to make fourth round. So for me, it was a no-brainer,” she added.

“I would have loved to have played. He didn’t ask me, if you’re still in the singles, are you going to play? That was never a question to be answered.

“Given how I woke up yesterday morning, it was for me a no-brainer.”

Raducanu also suggested Judy Murray didn’t mean to be critical of her decision to withdraw from the mixed doubles in a tweet that went viral on Saturday, with the 21-year-old facing a less-than-positive grilling on a day when her Wimbledon dreams died.