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Emma Raducanu says the public pressure on her to win Grand Slams is too much, calling it 'a joke'.
The British fan favourite was sent crashing out of Wimbledon in only the second round, losing 6-3 6-3 to Caroline Garcia.
It was unseeded Garcia's second-ever match on the famous Centre Court.
Following on from her historic victory at the US Open last year, it's clear the public's expectations of the 19-year-old are still high.
So when she was asked about her upcoming US Open title defence in August, Raducanu told the press: “There’s no pressure.
“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.
“If anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that.
“Going back to New York, it’s going to be cool because I have got a lot of experiences playing on big courts, playing with people in the stadium, playing with the spotlight on you.
“I don’t mind that. I mean, for me, everything is learning. I’m embracing every single moment that is thrown at me.”
"I think I've been asked this question in every press conference. I am 19 and yes I have had attention but I'm a slam champion so no one is going to take that away from me. If anything the pressure is on those that haven't done that." @EmmaRaducanu pic.twitter.com/aEjNSb7uwH— The Overrule (@theoverrule) June 29, 2022
Raducanu has already faced a barrage or criticism since the beginning of her successful but rather short career.
In particular, tennis legend John McEnroe has had a few things to say about her, most notably claiming that perhaps the occasion at last year's Wimbledon was “a little bit too much” for Raducanu after she withdrew from her last 16 match with breathing difficulties.
Speaking about this year's tournament, McEnroe changed his tune slightly, admitting the scrutiny she faces is a lot.
"She's a supremely talented individual and has an excellent chance to make a good run," McEnroe said in an interview with Kate Battersby.
"If she's physically fit, I'd be very surprised if she lost early, but to think she can't win Wimbledon is ridiculous.
He added: "Expectations go up greatly when you pull off something like that, and Emma did something no one in the history of tennis has done. I'm assuming expectations in Britain are pretty high, the change in her life is overwhelming, the scrutiny is a bit much at times, it's the same everywhere, not just Britain."
Some of the absolute b*locks on here here about Emma Raducanu. 🙈— Sam Quek (@SamanthaQuek) June 29, 2022
Won a Grand Slam as a qualifier, which no man or woman has ever done in Open era… at 18!
First British woman to win a Grand Slam in well over 40 years!
If that’s all she ever does (it won’t be) she’s a LEGEND!
If Emma Raducanu wins nothing else at all for the rest of her career, if she was to retire right now, she would still have achieved more than any other British singles player - apart from Andy Murray - in the last 45 years. She's 19. The very opposite of a failure.— Olly Allen (@OllyAllen_) June 29, 2022
Still just a teenager, Raducanu has already accomplished what many others have failed to do throughout their tennis careers.
So despite her early Wimbledon exit, she has promised to return to the All English Lawn Tennis Club next year better than ever.
“It’s just great for me to get all these lessons at such a young age so that when I’m in my mid-20s, I’ll have those issues or little glitches in my game sorted," Raducanu said in her press conference.
“I’ll just get better. I’ll just look at what’s not working, what my weaknesses are, improve them. It’s good for me.
“These lessons are coming every single week. It’s just a reminder you got to do this, this, and that.
“It comes from different players so it just highlights it. It’s just something to improve on.”