WIMBLEDON, England — Former tennis star John McEnroe’s reaction on the BBC’s broadcast to British teenager Emma Raducanu’s mid-match retirement at Wimbledon has put him in the spotlight.
McEnroe, a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, appears as an analyst on the host country’s television coverage at the All England Club.
The 18-year-old Raducanu stopped playing while trailing in the second set of her fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday night. Raducanu was visited by a trainer, then left the court for a medical timeout. Eventually, the chair umpire announced the 338th-ranked Raducanu would not continue because of a health issue, but did not specify why.
McEnroe told viewers “it appears it got a bit too much, which is understandable,” for Raducanu. He then made a reference to Naomi Osaka, the four-time major champion who pulled out of the previous Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, and also missed Wimbledon because she said she needed a mental health break.
More than two hours later, the All England Club said Raducanu had “difficulty breathing.”
“I can’t imagine being in her shoes, at 18, playing a fourth round in your home country. It’s something I can’t even imagine,” Tomljanovic said, when asked about McEnroe’s comments. “For him to say that, it’s definitely harsh.”