Emma Raducanu has broken her silence after her dramatic exit from Wimbledon last night, revealing she ‘started breathing heavily and felt sick’ and thinks ‘the whole experience caught up with me’.
The 18-year-old, who had to bow out of the fourth round, revealed that after ‘some super intense rallies’ she ‘started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy’ and was advised by her medical team not to continue.
She went on to describe how it ‘felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court’ but vowed to ‘come back stronger’.
In a heartwarming message on Twitter she wrote: ‘Hi guys, I wanted to let everyone know that I’m feeling much better this morning. First up I want to congratulate Ajla on an incredible performance and I’m sorry our match ended the way it did.
‘I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me. At the end of the first set, after some super intense rallies, I started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy.
‘The medical team advised me not to continue and, although it felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to carry on.
‘I want to thank the people who have cheered me on every single match, I wanted to win so badly for you! I also want to thank the All England CLub, my team, the LTA, my parents and friends.
‘Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top. I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger. Can’t wait to see what’s next on my journey.’
During an interview with the Asia Despatch, where the star was seen sporting an England football shirt and tipped the Three Lions to beat Denmark in tomorrow’s Euro 2020 game, she said: ‘I’m doing well thank you for asking.
‘I’m feeling a lot better this morning so I’m just glad to have recovered this quickly.
‘I think in the moment on Court One the atmosphere was once again incredible to play in front of, I’m obviously very disappointed to not finish the match.
‘I really really wanted to compete and try my best but the medical advice was to pull out and yes I followed it because I think their advice was the best in the end.
‘I found it very difficult to regulate my breathing. It was emphasised by some very long rallies that we had towards the end of the first set which made it tough for me to keep my composure and the breathing in check.
Emma Raducanu has broken her silence after her dramatic exit from Wimbledon last night, revealing she ‘started breathing heavily and felt sick’ and thinks ‘the whole experience caught up with me’
Speaking to the Asia Despatch today, Raducanu said she ‘found it very difficult to regulate her breathing’ during the match
EMMA RADUCANU’S TWEET IN FULL
Hi guys, I wanted to let everyone know that I’m feeling much better this morning. First up I want to congratulate Ajla on an incredible performance and I’m sorry our match ended the way it did.
I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me. At the end of the first set, after some super intense rallies, I started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy.
The medical team advised me not to continue and, although it felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to carry on.
I want to thank the people who have cheered me on every single match, I wanted to win so badly for you! I also want to thank the All England CLub, my team, the LTA, my parents and friends.
Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top. I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger. Can’t wait to see what’s next on my journey.
‘And then at the beginning of the second set was when I struggled with it the most and I called the trainer on and made the decision at the end of the changeover.
‘I don’t know what caused it. I think it was a combination of everything that has gone on behind the scenes in the last week and an accumulation of the excitement, the buzz, and I think it’s a great learning experience for me going forward, it’s a great step forward.
‘Now next time hopefully I will be better prepared.’
It comes after her former coach said she will put her Wimbledon disappointment behind and bounce back stronger than ever.
Clint Harris, who watched yesterday’s match with her family, told MailOnline the setback was merely a ‘side-step’ and she would learn from it.
Meanwhile her father said last night he and ‘many people’ were ‘proud’ of the young ace after she was forced to bow out of Wimbledon following a suspected ‘panic attack’ and ‘breathing difficulties’.
Mr Raducanu, who along with Emma’s mother, Renee, appeared visibly disappointed as he watched from the stands said: ‘I think it’s the level.’
The 18-year-old star’s fairy-tale run came to an end when she retired mid-match during the second set of her Wimbledon clash with Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
It was later revealed the Bromley teenager had suffered issues with her breathing during the match. But her father, Ian Raducanu, later suggested that the competitiveness of the tournament may have been in a factor.
Raducanu revealed that prior to her Court One appearance, she had only played in front of about 100 people, as she dubbed her Wimbledon experience ‘the best week of my life’.
She added: ‘I think it was a new experience playing under the roof with the lights.
‘It was definitely louder, it was a bit hotter. So just to settle in at the beginning, I think both of us had a bit of a nervy start but I think we started to play our way in.
‘And there was a close game, four all, I had a couple of break points. Once again the crowd was amazing. They were completely behind me and I’m so so grateful.
The player went on: ‘I’ve had the best time of my life. This whole week has just been absolutely incredible. I’ve never felt support like it.
‘I’m just so so grateful for every single person who cheered me on during the matches and all of the messages I have received via social media.
‘I just would just like to thank absolutely everyone who got in touch and supported me in the last week.’
Raducanu revealed that prior to her Court One appearance, she had only played in front of about 100 people, as she dubbed her Wimbledon experience ‘the best week of my life’
Footballer Marcus Rashford told the tennis star the country was proud of her and went on to say ‘onwards and upwards’
Following Raducanu’s tweet, footballer Marcus Rashford wrote on Twitter: ‘It happened to me playing for the national team in U16s against Wales. I remember it to this day.
‘No explanation for it and it never happened again. You should be very proud of yourself. The country is proud of you. Glad to read you’re feeling better. Onwards and upwards.’
Mr Harris, head of tennis at the Bromley Tennis Centre, who coached Raducanu for a year of her remarkable rise, said he and her family are confident she would overcome this hurdle and rise above the current furore.
He told MailOnline: ‘Emma’s aware that in professional sport there will be times when you encounter things that are unexpected and uncomfortable and it’s how you deal with them.
‘I think this was a ‘sideways step’ and she will come back stronger.’
Mr Harris, who had watched the last 16 game with her parents, said: ‘Both Ian and and Renee were disappointed with what happened last night but disappointed for her more than anything because they know how hard she worked to go on this amazing run.
‘But talking to her father at Wimbledon last night, he was confident that she would bounce back.’
Ranked 338th in the world at the start of the tournament, Raducanu, who only recently completed her A-level exams, exceeded expectations as she became the youngest British female to make it into the second week at Wimbledon since Christine Truman in 1959.
Yet Mr Harris said she would have been ‘desperately keen’ to carry on her second set if she could have done so.
He said he did not believe pressure was a major factor in her pulling out but did concede that her big tournament inexperience and fatigue may have played a part.
Ian Raducanu (pictured left), the father of teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu (pictured right), said the competitive ‘level’ of Wimbledon may have led to the young ace’s shock retirement through ‘breathing difficulties’ – but said the nation remained ‘proud of her’.
The 18-year-old star’s fairy-tale run came to an end last night when she quit mid-match during the second set of her Wimbledon clash with Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic
British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu was forced to retire during the second set of her Wimbledon clash with Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic due to ‘difficulty breathing’
Emma Raducanu receiving medical treatment during her fourth round match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
How Emma Raducanu became the Youngest British girl in the last 16 since Christine Truman in 1959
Emma Raducanu is the youngest British female to make it into the second week at Wimbledon for more than 60 years.
Christine Truman reached the fourth round in 1959 aged 18 years and five months – two months younger than Emma. Remarkably, two years earlier Truman made it to the semi-finals aged 16 in her debut in SW19 in 1957.
Truman’s success was all the more impressive given that since birth she was partially blind in her left eye – a fact her family had kept secret from competitors in her early days.
Asked whether her daughter’s sight had contributed to her disappointing performance at Wimbledon in 1962 when she was knocked out in the third round, her mother told a newspaper: ‘It is nonsense to suggest that Christine’s eyesight has affected her tennis in any way. It was exactly the same when she was on top of her form.’
In a career spanning more than two decades, Truman, an unpredictable player whose form could soar one week and crash the next, won titles in France and Italy and was later a finalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open. She had another successful Wimbledon run in 1965 when – unseeded and all but written off by observers – she made it to the semi-final. Continuing to play at domestic tournaments throughout her career, she was Martina Navratilova’s first opponent at Wimbledon in 1973.
She married former Wasps rugby player Gerry Janes, and the pair had four children, one of whom – Amanda Keen – went on to become a professional tennis player who twice played at Wimbledon and had a career-best ranking of number 207. Mrs Truman Janes retired from tennis in 1975 and became a commentator for Asia Despatch radio.
She was awarded an MBE in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday’s Honours list for her services to sport. She has also published several children’s books including her first, Dilly And Other Poems, about a loveable doll which finds itself in different situations, such as – unsurprisingly – learning to play tennis.
Even though she stopped playing tennis competitively many years ago, Mrs Truman Janes still takes to the court at her local clubs in Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, Suffolk. She told her local newspaper: ‘It exercises all the muscles and it is something you can keep doing into old age.’ Meanwhile, Britain’s men’s No 2 Cameron Norrie – the last British star in the men’s singles after Andy Murray crashed out of the tournament on Friday – lost his match against Roger Federer yesterday.
Norrie, 25, put up a valiant effort against the eight-time champion but was beaten in four sets. The player stopped during the match to give a memento of his official Wimbledon towel to a young spectator who had been hit by a tennis ball. It was the third consecutive Grand Slam event where Norrie had reached the last 32, losing to Rafael Nadal at both the Australian and French Opens prior to his defeat to Swiss veteran Federer yesterday.
He said: ‘Her stamina and agility are second to none and she would have been mortified to have to throw the towel in but it’s a decision she would’ve taken with her team.
‘I texted Ian this morning and asked how things were. He’s a guy who keeps things close to his chest and all he said was ‘everything’s ok, she’s fine.
‘Personally I don’t think it was that she couldn’t handle the pressure, she’s extremely tough mentally as well as physically.
‘But she did look a little pale when she came on to court, she did appear to be off-colour from where I was sitting.
‘You have to remember, though, that yesterday was the third top-50 player she has played in succession and to maintain that level of tennis both physically and mentally is exhausting. And she isn’t used to that yet.
‘Also there was a big delay in when her match was due to start. We thought she’d be on about 4.30pm but it wasn’t until 8pm that she got started. That’s a lot of time and the anxiety grows and grows.
‘What does she do nutrition-wise in that time? Does she have a snack, does she have a larger meal? These are all decisions that she hasn’t had to make yet at this level.
‘Was it indigestion? I can’t say for sure, it would be totally speculative. She was hyperventilating at one point and also holding her stomach so it could have also been an abdominal muscle strain or tear but I’m not convinced of that to be honest.’
MailOnline revealed yesterday how Raducanu and her father, who works in finance, would often play tennis in the quiet cul-de-sac outside their home in the leafy South London suburb of Bromley.
They were seen by neighbours knocking balls back and forth during lockdown to keep her concentration levels up for Wimbledon.
Paying tribute to her parents, Mr Harris said: ‘Her father doesn’t play tennis but his depth of knowledge of the sport is incredible and I think Emma has inherited her parents intellect, which has enabled her to keep in perspective what is going on around her.
‘When Emma was training here, Ian would actually be courtside and that’s something I’d actively encourage. He wanted to understand the psychology, the technical development it takes to play tennis at this level.
‘That’s why he goes out into their cul-de-sac with her to knock some balls about. There isn’t anything he can really do technically but he knows that by having a few rallies with her it helps maintain her eye and hand co-ordination.
‘Both Ian and Renee have devoted so much to their daughter’s career and they’ve been key to keeping her grounded and aware of the pitfalls that professional sport at the highest level can bring.
‘What happens to Emma from now on? Who knows. But this is a great step. You don’t get to where Emma is at the moment overnight, she’s been playing since she was six-years-old and has honed her raw talent with hours and hours of hard work and determination. We are all fully behind her.’
There was no reply at Raducanu’s semi-detached home today, although neighbour Dave Moore, 74, added: ‘It was such a shame about how she went out the way she did but she can hold her head up high. She’s done everyone in the cul-de-sac proud.’
Mr Raducanu, who along with Emma’s mother, Renee, appeared visibly disappointed as he watched from the stands yesterday, told the Telegraph: ‘I think it’s the level.’
The father did not clarify if he meant mental or physical, though when asked if it was nerves, he replied: ‘Who knows?’ But he said he was ‘proud, as many people are’ of his daughter’s Wimbledon run.
Mr Raducanu said he was ‘proud’ of his daughter’s Wimbledon run, ‘as many Britons are,’ he added
Supporters back in Emma Raducanu’s home town of Bromley share their ‘pride’ is young star after her Wimbledon exit
Neighbours of the Raducanu family yesterday expressed their pride in the teenage tennis ace after she was forced to retire from Wimbledon last night.
The 18-year-old lives with her parents in a quiet cul-de-sac in Bromley, Kent.
Full-time mum Michelle Derham, 29, said she hoped Raducanu would get even further than the fourth round at Wimbledon next year.
She said: ‘I’m just really proud of her and hopefully she will get even further in the future, when the tournament happens again.
‘She has done really well. I’m proud of her achievements and I hope she is too.
‘She has massively exceeded all expectations, especially with lockdown and not being able to practice properly. She’s an amazing player and I hope she’s okay.’
Another neighbour, Chidera Pius, 18, praised Raducanu’s achievements and said she hoped the tennis star got better soon.
She said: ‘I feel so bad for her. She’s just 18 years old like me and just finished her A-Levels. It’s a lot for the average teen, without the whole tennis pressure.
‘She shouldn’t try to beat herself up too much about it. She has still done incredibly well, better than anyone could have imagined.
‘I hope she does keep strong and comes back stronger. I hope she does keep training and good luck to her.’
James Carlton, 24, manager at Bromley Tennis Centre where Emma used to train, was watching her fourth round match when she was forced to retire.
He praised her performance in the tournament and said she did better than he ever expected.
He said: ‘She did incredibly well to get so far and surpassed all expectations of everyone. She did really well to get to the second week especially.
‘I watched her from around halfway through the first set and then watched the three all in the first set, until she had to retire.
‘The first set she was really good and held her own and was digging in and came up with some big first serves and second serves as she needed to.
‘Her opponent was considerably more experienced and she did really well.
‘Sadly the fourth round was a little too much and I’m not sure what the injury or issue was.’
James, who knows Raducanu from her time practising at the club in Bromley said he had watched at least a part of each of her matches in the tournament and said she was an inspiration to everyone in the club.
He said: ‘I just want her to know how pleased we are for her.
‘I’m sure that there will be more occasions in the future where she will do as good or even better.
‘Hopefully we will see her competing again soon.’
Meanwhile, those back in the star’s home town of Bromley also showed their support for the young ace. James Carlton, 24, manager at Bromley Tennis Centre, praised her performance in the tournament.
He said: ‘She did incredibly well to get so far and surpassed all expectations of everyone. She did really well to get to the second week especially.
Mr Carlton added: ‘I just want her to know how pleased we are for her. I’m sure that there will be more occasions in the future where she will do as good or even better.’
Canadian-born Raducanu, who last week became the youngest British woman to make it to the second week at SW19 since 1959, was taken off court requiring medical treatment after losing the first set 6-4 to Tomljanovic before retiring 3-0 down.
She was seen clutching her stomach during the second set before quitting the tournament to the shock of her fans inside and outside No1 Court.
Raducanu had become the nation’s last hope of success at Wimbledon after British superstar Sir Andy Murray crashed out last week.
US tennis legend John McEnroe suggested ‘it got a bit too much’ for Raducanu after he told presenter Clare Balding that she buckled under the pressure and got ’emotional’.
He was facing a Twitter backlash for making ‘completely inappropriate’ comments about Raducanu’s health yesterday.
McEnroe said: ‘I feel bad for Emma, I mean obviously it got – it appears it got a bit too much, as is understandable, particularly what we’ve been talking about for the last six weeks.
‘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.
‘These guys that can keep their composure and the girls out there are absolutely amazing – so we have to appreciate the players that are able to do it so well and hopefully she will learn from this experience.’
Sitting beside McEnroe, ex-British No1 Annabel Croft said: ‘I think she will cope with it very well, and I think it’s about not reading anything, not looking too much at your phone.
‘I hear (Rafael) Nadal talking about it time and time again when he refers to youngsters coming through.
‘He always says… it’s about the team keeping her feet on the ground and just working every day as she has since she was a little girl to try to be a better tennis player every day.’
Laura Robson, the ex-British No1 who reached the fourth round at the age of 19 in 2013, added: ‘Perhaps the pressure has caught up with her. It’s part of being a Brit at Wimbledon.’
The surprise retirement may also now spark a backlash towards Wimbledon, who controversially abandoned its usual policy of scheduling all the women’s fourth rounds no later than second on the programme.
This has been done in the past on the second Monday to ensure fairness in terms of rest, as the female quarter finals are played on Tuesday.
Instead, Raducanu’s game was put in the prime early evening slot, giving more fans and viewers the chance to watch someone who has enchanted the All England Club as the fresh new face of British tennis.
Such a prime-time match is a big step-up for Raducanu, who has played sparingly in the professional game.
Her relatively sparse outings have mostly come in remote outposts of the sport in small tournaments with a smattering of spectators.
Emma Raducanu reacts during her fourth round match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic
Raducanu reacts during her 4th round match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia at the Wimbledon Championships
Raducanu goes off court for a medical time out in her Ladies’ Singles Fourth Round match against Ajla Tomljanovic
Raducanu was born in Toronto in 2002 to a Chinese mother and Romanian father and the family moved over to England when she was two. Despite only making her first WTA Tour main draw appearance last month at the Nottingham Open, Raducanu has had previous success in youth competitions.
Screens were set up at Raducanu’s school – Newstead Wood School in Orpington – to allow staff and pupils to watch her take on Tomljanovic in the fourth round match. Staff and club members had also been watching next door at Bromley Tennis club, where Raducanu played regularly from the age of nine to 16, before moving on to train at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
Her teachers described her as ‘focused, determined and hard-working’ on and off the court, with Newstead School headteacher Alan Blount saying she was ‘in the zone’ and ‘loving every minute’ of the tournament.
‘Emma has been with us since year seven when she was 11 years old and she’s always been tipped for great things,’ Mr Blount said ahead of the match. ‘Obviously you can’t look into the future and you don’t know if it is going to come good, but we knew she was heading for great things.
‘If everything was right she was going to be the next big thing and look, here she is.’
Saturday’s win means Raducanu is guaranteed a payday of at least £181,000 this week – over six times her previous accumulated career earnings of £28,762.
Raducanu – who has been praised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and former world number one Sir Andy – is tipped to earn millions in sponsorship deals.
Brands are likely to be clambering over themselves to sign her up; with her charming post-match interview on court leaving her joking about how she never expected a second week at Wimbledon.
After her first round victory, she gained 30,000 followers on Instagram – and Saturday’s win took that to another level – she’s currently on 153,000 and rising fast.
One expert said: ‘She’s very clean-cut, attractive, multicultural, successful and young.’
Raducanu reacts during her 4th round match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia at the Wimbledon Championships
Raducanu’s mother and father pictured left and right as their daughter was forced to quit the British grand slam after suffering breathing difficulties
British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu at No1 Court at Wimbledon
Raducanu dejected during her fourth round match at Wimbledon
Raducanu has retired with injury, bringing her fairy-tale run at Wimbledon to an abrupt end after the teenage wildcard lost the first set to Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic
Born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, Raducanu moved to Britain at the age of two and grew up in London. She first picked up a racquet aged five and played at Bromley Tennis Academy from the age of ten.
During lockdown, she could be seen knocking tennis balls back and forth to her dad in the quiet cul-de-sac where the family live.
On her Instagram page, the rising star references her global roots listing London, where she lives now, Toronto, where she was born and the two cities where her parents are from Bucharest in Romania and Shenyang in China.
Her dual heritage remains important to her and she’s spoken fondly of relatives across the globe, saying: ‘My grandma, Mamiya, still lives in central Bucharest. I go back a couple times a year, stay with her, see her. It’s really nice. I love the food, to be honest.
‘I mean, the food is unbelievable. And my grandma’s cooking is also something special. I do have ties to Bucharest.’
Weeks ago, the teenager, who’s a fan of Taiwanese TV shows, was sitting A-Levels in Economics and Maths at Newstead School in Orpington, Kent.
Raducanu has been described as a ‘model pupil’ by her teachers at the selective girls’ grammar school. She achieved three 9s, and four 8s in her GCSEs and is awaiting the results of her maths and economics A-levels.
Her PE teacher Sarah Eells, said it was ‘very emotional’ watching Raducanu ‘achieve her dream’ and that the teenager was a ‘role model and an inspiration’ to other pupils.
Raducanu received a huge welcome from excited Wimbledon spectators this evening
Emma Raducanu during her fourth round match Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Champ in the making: Emma competing in a junior competition in France, left, and on her way to victory at Wimbledon on Saturday. Even if she loses, Emma – who has been praised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sir Andy Murray – is tipped to earn millions in sponsorship deals. One expert said: ‘She’s very clean-cut, attractive, multicultural, successful and young’
Recipe for success both on and off court: the teenager’s Instagram account has seen her amass 153,000 followers in a week
Raducanu has seen congratulation pour in from both Sir Andy Murray and her maths teacher: She said: ‘I have actually received a few emails from my school teachers. My math teacher emailed me today congratulating me’
‘I’m so proud and it’s very emotional how we feel just seeing her achieve her dream and show her skill,’ she said. ‘She fully deserves it and her hard work is paying off.
‘Her mindset is so strong and she is very focused and determined. I believe she has all the qualities of an elite sportswoman.
‘I 100 per cent think she is made for this and she will go all the way. The shots that she’s pulling off are just outstanding. How she’s finished them off and coped with the pressure is incredible.
‘I’m quite blown away with what she is achieving but it shows her character on court… but that’s just her as a person. No drama or ego, she’s just very hard-working and dedicated.
‘She’s an absolute role model and inspiration. The buzz that we’ve got that’s going on for the students, the staff and the past students is amazing.’
Raducanu insisted she is focused on her tennis career, and has juggled matches with schoolwork this year during the pandemic – choosing not to travel abroad for lower level tournaments.
Her maths teacher Sarah Sword, 48, who emailed her after her victory against world number 45 Sorana Cirstea on Saturday, said: ‘She’s a really talented mathematician, she’s a really talented student.
‘She’s very active in class in terms of participating in the lessons, asking questions, answering questions – and she has a very sharp mind.
‘She is going to do brilliantly in her exams. There’s no doubt in my mind. She has managed this amazing balance between her studies and pursuing her passion for tennis. She’s simply lovely.’
The rising star is coached by Sir Andy’s father-in-law Nigel Sears, who said she was ‘born to play tennis’, adding: ‘I knew she was exceptional the first time I saw her.’