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Emma Raducanu: John McEnroe supports Wimbledon comments

John McEnroe says he stands by comments he made about British tennis star Emma Raducanu over her retirement from Wimbledon – and praised her “crazy” US Open triumph.

The 62-year-old American, who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, was criticized for his reaction to Raducanu’s withdrawal in his final Wimbledon match against Ajla Tomljanovic.

In what was the teenager’s major debut, Raducanu retired due to breathing difficulties – and McEnroe later suggested on the BBC that the occasion was “a bit too much” for her.

While McEnroe was criticized for her comments, the three-time Wimbledon champion said they had been blown out of proportion – and called Raducanu a “terrific athlete” for her “crazy” triumph in the United States.

“I meant exactly what I said,” he told CNN, referring to his July comments.

“I tried to relate it, in a way, to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon also at 18 and managed to qualify like Emma did.

“There are a lot of good sides, but there is also the pressure you put on yourself and the expectations that others put on you.

“Compared to a lot of other things I’ve said in the past, I mean, that to me was as vanilla as it sounds. I was very supportive of her, I thought, at the time.

“You know the newspapers in England. Sometimes they make a big deal out of nothing for me.”

Raducanu stunned the sports world when she defeated compatriot Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final to become the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam singles title.

The 18-year-old’s feat was all the more remarkable because throughout her qualifying and main draw matches en route to the trophy, she did not lose a single set.

“I don’t think you can do better than her (at the US Open),” McEnroe added.

“It’s crazy that she could do that.”

by Raducanu 6-4 6-3 victory over 19-year-old Fernandez in New York this weekend, she also became the first Briton to win a major singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977 at Wimbledon – and the first to do so at the US Open since Wade in 1968.

McEnroe said of the teen-only finale: “Totally unexpected. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime to see an 18 or 19 year old do it.

“I can’t imagine anyone in her (Raducanu) camp expected this. To win the US Open without dropping a set is crazy. She’s a tremendous athlete, she looks like a great kid.”