John McEnroe calls Emma Radukanu’s US Open win ‘crazy’ and praises teen for bouncing back

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Redukanu broke the odds on Saturday to become the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam during the Open era, beating fellow teenager Leyla Fernandez in the final at Flushing Meadows.

Her breathtaking performance in New York followed a promising start two months earlier at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round before backing out with “difficulty breathing”.

“Totally unexpected. Never thought it would happen in my lifetime to see an 18 and 19 year old do this,” McEnroe told CNN’s Kristian Amanpour while speaking about the all-teen final at the US Open .

“I think the women’s game is more open than ever so it’s a sign that a lot more players think they have a chance.

“I can’t imagine anyone in that [Raducanu] The camp expected this. Winning the US Open without losing a set is madness. She’s a tremendous athlete, she seems like a great kid.”

Wimbledon controversy

Following Raducanu’s withdrawal from Wimbledon, McEnroe was criticized for saying the situation had become “too much” for him.

At the time, it was unclear which young player stopped playing, but he later said that “the whole experience caught up with me” and that he began to “breathe heavily and feel dizzy” after several “extremely intense rallies”. done.

McEnroe received backlash from people saying he was questioning the youngster’s mental prowess, but insists that he never intended to commit a crime and only intended to support the success star.

“I meant exactly what I said,” he said. “I tried to connect it in a small way with my experience when I went to Wimbledon for the first time at the age of 18 and managed to qualify like Emma.

“I played Jimmy Connors, I wasn’t on center court. I remember my leg trembling and completely overwhelmed by the experience and almost glad I didn’t win.

“There are a lot of good advantages, but you put pressure on yourself and so are the expectations that others place on you.

“In comparison to a lot of other things I’ve said in the past, I mean it was like vanilla to me. I was very supportive of that, I thought, at the time.”

The seven-time Grand Slam singles winner – who was famous for his mid-match antics – says he hopes Radukanu can tackle the new focus on his career.

The teenager was barely known outside tennis before this year, but is now one of the biggest stars in the game.

“I don’t think you can do it better than she did [at the U.S. Open],” McEnroe said. “It is crazy that he is able to do that.”

“Of course, the pressure comes with it, the expectation comes with it. I’m sure she hopes to win a lot more going forward.”

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