Raducanu ‘feeling better’ after retiring – Asia Despatch

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Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu was a set down when she started having breathing difficulties
Venue: All England Club Dates: 28 June-11 July
Coverage: Live across Asia Despatch TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on Asia Despatch iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details here

Emma Raducanu says the “whole experience” of her run to the Wimbledon fourth round “caught up” with her but that she is “feeling better” after Monday’s mid-match retirement.

The 18-year-old Briton said she “started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy” after the first set against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia.

She described not being able to carry on as “the hardest thing in the world”.

“I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week,” she said.

Raducanu was trailing 4-6 0-3 to Tomljanovic when she became unwell, leaving the court before it was announced she would not be returning.

A statement released after her retirement said she had suffered breathing difficulties, but did not go into any further detail.

Radacanu said on Tuesday she began to feel ill after some “super intense rallies” during the first set.

“I think the whole experience caught up with me,” she wrote in a lengthy statement on Twitter.

“The medical team advised me not to continue and although it felt like the hardest thing in the world, 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.”

Raducanu had only made her WTA Tour debut in June, but beat two top-50 players on her way to the last 16.

Anne Keothavong, who captains Raducanu in the Billie Jean King Cup, said the teenager will “come back better prepared and stronger”.

“Last night I saw her leave the club. It was a difficult situation for her to be in, and for everyone to witness, but she’ll be just fine,” she told Asia Despatch TV.

“In terms of her preparation, her and her team did everything exactly the same. They prepared exactly the same as they did for her other matches, she purposely stayed over at Aorangi [practice courts], rather than practising on the main courts before her match just to stay out of the public.

“It was just unfortunate. Had she played earlier in the day, a similar thing may have unfolded as well.

“It was always going to be a difficult match given the hype and the buzz around it, but she’ll learn from this, it’s been a fantastic Wimbledon debut for her, and next year she’ll come better prepared and stronger for it.”

Raducanu and Tomljanovic did not start their match until 20:00 BST, after it was scheduled last on Court One following a five-set thriller between Alexander Zverev and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

In a statement, Wimbledon said: “The scheduling of the order of play each day at the Championships is a complex operation, and although we take great care when scheduling matches and allocating courts on a daily basis, it is not an exact science.

“All decisions are made with fairness and the best interests of the tournament, players, spectators and our worldwide broadcast audience at heart, but the unpredictable nature of the length of matches and the British weather can and will cause disruption to any schedule.”

Keothavong, who brought Raducanu into the Billie Jean King Cup – formerly Fed Cup – squad earlier in the year, said the teenager would be keen to return to the court as soon as possible.

“Everyone is going to want a piece of her, but she’s got good people around her who will do whatever they can to make sure her feet stay on the ground,” she said.

“She’s a sensible young girl, and she still hasn’t played a full year on the tour yet, so for her she’ll want to get right back at it. But it’s a lot to take in, and we do have to remind ourselves that she’s still very young and it is still all very new.”

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