Wimbledon 2021 tennis - ‘I felt dizzy’ – Emma Raducanu ‘sorry’ for retiring but vows to come back stronger
Having overcome Marketa Vondrousova and Sorana Cirstea in the second and third rounds respectively, British rising star Emma Raducanu was sadly forced to retire hurt midway through the second set against Ajla Tomljanovic. Raducanu said she 'felt dizzy' after it was confirmed she withdrew due to breathing difficulties.
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Emma Raducanu has vowed to “come back stronger” after taking to social media to explain why she retired hurt from her Wimbledon fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday night.
The 18-year-old wildcard saw her dream run come to an abrupt end when she suffered breathing difficulties and was unable to resume her match on Court One.
“I wanted to let everyone know that I am 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," the British star said on Twitter.
“It 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 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.”
Raducanu, who was sitting her A-Levels just three months ago, had to take a medical time out in the second set. She then sadly had to retire with Tomljanovic holding a one-set 3-0 lead after she had left the court. Eventually, after brief assistance at the changeover in her chair, she was escorted off the court and unable to return with the fans informed by the umpire that play would not continue.
The world number 338 had delighted the British fans over the course of the past week, beating Marketa Vondrousova and Sorana Cirstea in the second and third rounds respectively.
Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford led the messages of support for Raducanu, saying: "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 your feeling better. Onwards and upwards."
“I feel bad for Emma, obviously,” tennis legend John McEnroe had said on the BBC. “It appears it just got a little bit too much, as is understandable, particularly with what we’ve been talking about this over the last six weeks with Osaka not even here.
“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. Hopefully she’ll learn from this experience."
Emma Raducanu musste ihr Achtelfinale in Wimbledon aufgeben
Image credit: Getty Images
Tomljanovic responded: "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. 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.”
Immediately after the match, Tomljanovic had spoken for everyone when she simply wished her opponent well and hoped she was okay.
"I am actually shocked because Emma must be hurt if she came to the decision to retire," Tomljanovic said in a sympathetic on-court interview.
"I am really sorry for her, I wish we could have finished it. I am wishing her all the best. I thought I found my groove although Emma was hurt and not at her best which kind of explains it.
"It didn't really sink in I'm in the quarters because of the circumstances. I am thrilled to play Ash, and to have two Aussies in the quarter-finals is great for everyone back home."
Emma Raducanu of Great Britain goes off court for a medical time out in her Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia during Day Seven of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
The teenager was making her Grand Slam debut, having only made her maiden appearance on the WTA Tour in June, and Eurosport's Mats Wilander said after the previous round that he believes Britain has something special.
"She is the real deal, and I am talking about the mindset," Wilander told Eurosport at Wimbledon. "An incredible mindset and an incredible mover. She has a great mindset.
I'm telling you, in Great Britain, you have a star that has been born.
"She plays like her idol, Li Na. The forehand is almost an identical copy. She really is a fantastic tennis player and there is nowhere she is going to go but up. She is going to improve and improve.
"She is here to stay. She moves incredibly well and she has real strength. She has literally everything. She can be a superstar."