August 11, 2022

John McEnroe isn’t mincing words with Emma Raducanu. 

After winning last year’s U.S. Open in stunning fashion as an 19-year-old, Raducanu has wallowed in tournaments since; that stretch includes a second-round upset in Wimbledon on Wednesday. 

In the process, the world No. 10 has drawn the ire of McEnroe. 

“She won the U.S. Open from the qualifying (round), of course there is a lot of expectation coming from that,” McEnroe said on BBC. “I suppose nerves play a part in injury. She is 19 years old. She should be able to deal with that very quickly. I hope some big things happen in the future, but you gotta start believing. Back up the hype!” 

McEnroe’s frustration in part stems from Raducanu’s injury history; at Wimbledon last year, McEnroe criticized Raducanu for forfeiting her match due to breathing difficulties. Earlier this year, Raducanu dealt with blisters on her hand and feet, leading McEnroe to question her fitness regimen. 

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

Raducanu suffered a second round upset at Wimbledon
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“I don’t know who (the support staff) are,” McEnroe said. “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 for herself. 

“She won the U.S. Open. Some slouch doesn’t win the U.S. Open. She’s a great player. You’ve got to look at it like that — not, ‘I’m inexperienced.’ I’m not totally buying that part.”

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

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McEnroe has become a frequent critic of Raducanu
McEnroe has become a frequent critic of Raducanu
Corbis via Getty Images

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

“Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. Yeah, if anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that.”