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John McEnroe has landed himself in hot water with tennis fans for his recent comments about 18-year-old Emma Raducanu.
British teenager Raducanu won over the hearts of the nation with her courageous Wimbledon run of form which sadly ended prematurely when she was forced to withdraw from the prestigious tournament through injury.
Raducanu was down 0-3 in the second set of her round of 16 match against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic when she appeared to be struggling with her breathing.
Signalling over to the medical staff, the breakout star then left the court to receive treatment and never returned.
Analysing the incident after Raducanu's retirement, seven-time Grand Slam winner McEnroe suggested that the young Brit may have buckled under the pressure - sort of insinuating that she wasn't even injured in the first place.
Emma Raducanu is struggling :disappointed_relieved: she's receiving medical attention.- BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 5, 2021
Raducanu 4-6 0-3 Tomljanovic.
:tv::computer: @BBCOne, @BBCiPlayer, the @BBCSport app and the Red Button.#bbctennis pic.twitter.com/fQvGFp9lsp
"It's a shame. I feel bad for Emma. It appears like it just got too much, which is understandable," McEnroe told the BBC.
"It makes you look at the guys and girls who have been around for so long and wonder how they handle it. Hopefully she will learn from this experience.
"Maybe it's not a shame this has happened right now when she is 18. I played this tournament at 18 and in a way I was happy I lost.
"I was able to understand what it would take to make it. Allow her to take some deep breaths and maybe get some wildcards."
Claiming that the lights were a tad too bright for young Raducanu was a remark that didn't sit too well with some tennis fans who wasted no time in returning serve at McEnroe.
Broadcaster Harriet Minter tweeted: "Listening to the John McEnroe commentary about Emma Raducanu. Two things: 1. Is he drunk? 2. Is there anything more annoying than a man telling a woman she's not hurt she's just emotional? No, no there isn't. Please ask him to stop."
While sports reporter and former rugby union player Rob Vickerman added: "How can John McEnroe come out with those comments not knowing anything about her retirement from the match?!"
Tennis Tweet on #Wimbledon - but how can John McEnroe come out with those comments not knowing anything about her retirement from the match?!
- Rob Vickerman (@robvickerman) July 5, 2021
As journalist Chloe Hubbard said: "Feel like the producers could have given McEnroe a bit of a better mental health briefing ahead of him sharing ALL the views there. But you do you."
Elsewhere, Scottish actress Annie Wallace dubbed McEnroe a "grade A idiot" while other fans described his comments as "disgusting", "embarrassing" and "appalling".
The backlash didn't stop there either and even Raducanu's opponent Tomljanovic waded in.
"I wasn't 100 per cent sure what was wrong with Emma. I did hear the reasoning. I'll start with saying that 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.
"For him to say that, it's definitely harsh. I have experienced something similar but not to that extent. I know that it's a real thing. I've spoken to athletes that have gone through that. It's not easy.
"When I heard the reasoning, I almost felt worse about it because I know how bad that can feel. But then again, it didn't happen to me.
"I can't imagine how she must be feeling having to pull out. Being down 6-4 3-0, you can come back from that quickly, especially on grass.
"It's really sad that she had to do that. I do feel sorry."
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