John McEnroe with strong words for Emma Raducanu – ‘Back up the hype’

Emma Raducanu

John McEnroe has never held back when giving his views on Emma Raducanu – or any player for that matter – and he followed that same approach as he summed up her second-round defeat at Wimbledon.

Raducanu’s 6-3, 6-3 loss against France’s Caroline Garcia burst the bubble of expectation around the US Open champion as she played in her home Grand Slam, but McEnroe suggested she needs to deal with that hype after he heroics in New York last year.

The 19-year-old has struggled to find her best form since winning the US Open as her life has changed beyond recognition, with seven-time major singles champion McEnroe telling the BBC that Raducanu has to embrace the pressure that has built up around her.

“Nerves play a part here, but she’s 19 years old. I mean, she should be you know, be able to deal with that very quickly,” declared McEnroe.

“I suspect and I hope that some big things will happen in the future, but you got to start believing, you know, back up the hype.

“She needs to get in her comfort zone with whoever the people are around her. I don’t know who they are because she keeps switching teams as new coaches come in and out of the situation. That’s not a good thing.

“But she’s got to figure it out and let’s not forget, she won the US Open. Some slouch doesn’t win the US Open. She’s a great player. You got to look at it like that.”

Raducanu said she had learned some lessons from her second-round loss against Garcia, but McEnroe was not convinced by her post-match comments.

“I’m not buying this idea that she doesn’t have experience (on grass),” he added. “She got to the fourth round at Wimbledon last year. She knows that Wimbledon is first strike tennis I don’t mean to burst her bubble here, but I we have to give her some time.

“She’s had injuries okay, I get it. You got to obviously you want to be healthy, but hopefully she’ll realise that a lot is expected and I’m sure she expects a lot from herself. She could do some big things.

“How did she have blisters? I don’t know understand that part. She won the US Open, I’m gonna say it again – she won the US Open. But of course there’s a lot of expectations coming from that.”

Raducanu is next expected to play in Washington, as she looks forward to her defence of the US Open, with anything less than a successful defence of that title certain to lead to a huge fall in her WTA Ranking.