John McEnroe wants Emma Raducanu to ‘back up the hype’

John McEnroe doesn’t mince words with Emma Raducanu.

After winning the US Open last year in stunning fashion at the age of 19, Raducanu has been wallowing in tournaments ever since; that stretch includes an upset in the second round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

In the aftermath, the world No. 10 has drawn the wrath of McEnroe.

« She won the US Open in qualifying (round), of course there’s a lot of expectation that comes with that, » McEnroe told the BBC. “I guess nerves play a role in injuries. She is 19 years old. She should be able to handle this very quickly. I hope great things will happen in the future, but you have to start believing. Save the hype!

Part of McEnroe’s frustration stems from Raducanu’s injury history; at Wimbledon last year, McEnroe slammed Raducanu for losing his match due to breathing difficulties. Earlier this year, Raducanu suffered blisters on his hands and feet, causing McEnroe to question his fitness routine.

McEnroe also lamented Raducanu’s decision to play without a head coach since April.

Raducanu was upset in the second round at Wimbledon
Visionhaus/Getty Images

« I don’t know who (the support staff) are, » McEnroe said. “She keeps changing teams as new coaches come in and out of the situation. It is not a good thing. But she must find out for herself.

« She won the US Open. Some slouches don’t win the US Open. She’s a great player. You have to see it that way – not, ‘I’m inexperienced.’ I don’t totally buy that part.

For her part, Raducanu isn’t letting her lack of success over the past year bother her.

McEnroe became a frequent critic of Raducanu
McEnroe became a frequent critic of Raducanu
Corbis via Getty Images

« There’s no pressure, » she said Wednesday. “For example, why is there pressure? I’m still 19. Like, it’s a joke. I literally won a slam.

« Yeah, I got attention. But I’m a slam champ, so nobody’s gonna take that away from me. Yeah, if anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t.


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