John McEnroe stands by controversial comments made about US Open champion Emma Raducanu
Retired American legend John McEnroe came under fire for some comments made about Emma Raducanu in July when the British teenager retired in her Wimbledon match, but he now states he was supportive of her at the time and praised her for her recent US Open victory.
During her round of 16 match at the All England Club, Raducanu retired citing breathing difficulties. However, McEnroe, who was doing commentary for the match on BBC, said the occasion seemed to be "too much" for her.
“I feel bad for Emma, obviously,” McEnroe said at the time. “It appears it just got a little bit too much, as is understandable, particularly with what we’ve been talking about this over the last six weeks with Osaka not even here.
"How much can players handle? It makes you look at the guys that have been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle it. Hopefully she’ll learn from this experience.”
The three-time Wimbledon champion received a lot of backlash for the comments, but claimed they were blown out of proportion.
“I meant exactly what I said,” McEnroe told CNN. “I tried to relate it in a small way to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon also at 18.
“There’s a lot of great upsides, but there’s also pressure you put on yourself and expectations that others put on you. I mean that was to me as vanilla as it comes ... I was very supportive of her, I thought, at the time.
“You know the papers over in England. Sometimes they, like, make a big deal out of, to me, nothing.”