Seven-time Grand Slam singles champion McEnroe appears as an analyst on host nation television coverage at the All England Club. McEnroe also works as an analyst for ESPN.
Raducanu, 18, stopped playing as she lagged behind in the second set of her fourth round match against Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday night. Raducanu was visited by a trainer, then left the field for a medical time out. Eventually, the chair umpire announced that the 338th-ranked Raducanu would not continue due to a health issue, but didn’t say why.
McEnroe told viewers, “It looks like there’s a bit too much of it, which is understandable, especially with what we’ve been talking about over the past six weeks with [Naomi] Osaka not even here. “
Osaka, a four-time major champion, withdrew from the previous Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, and also missed Wimbledon because she said she needed a break for her sanity.
“How much can the players handle? McEnroe said. “It makes you look at the guys that’s been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle that.” I hope she will learn from this experience. “
More than two hours later, the All England Club said Raducanu was “having trouble breathing”.
“I can’t imagine being in her place, at 18, playing a fourth round in your home country. It’s something I can’t even imagine, ”said Tomljanovic, when asked about McEnroe’s comments. “For him to say that, it’s really hard. “
In a statement, ESPN said, “We are exploring the details surrounding what was said on the BBC and will follow up with John. “
Harriet Minter, a London-based journalist who focuses on issues relating to women, the future of work, media and diversity, slammed McEnroe on Twitter, saying: “Is there something more annoying than a man telling a woman she’s not hurt, that she’s just emotional? No, no, there isn’t. Please ask him to stop.
Chloe Hubbard, editor-in-chief of the London Independent newspaper, tweeted: “I feel the producers could have given [sic] McEnroe had a bit of a better mental health briefing before he shared ALL the views there. “
Andy Murray, responding to a few tweets that implied Raducanu couldn’t take the pressure, said: “There is no doubt that mental toughness can be what separates the best in sports, but you surely don’t judge all of them. two his mental strength on yesterday’s game? ! “
Raducanu’s match started late as the previous men’s match lasted five sets. On Tuesday, the All England Club issued a statement praising Raducanu “for the poise and maturity” she has shown throughout the tournament, and noted on the calendar that “it is not an exact science”.
“All decisions are made with fairness and in the best interests of the tournament, the players, the spectators and our global broadcast audience at heart,” the statement said, “but the unpredictable nature of match length and weather British people can and will cause disruption at any time. “
McEnroe also mentioned the late start time during his post-game analysis, saying it was “a lot to take on” for Raducanu.
“I don’t think it helped that the previous game was that long because it made him think more,” he said. “It’s a lot to take on, especially when you’ve never been there before. “
On Tuesday, Raducanu released a statement saying she “felt a lot better.” She said that at the end of the first set she “started to breathe heavily and feel dizzy”. The medical team advised her not to continue and she said that she “was not well enough to continue”.
“Last night will help me immensely in learning what it takes to be on top,” she wrote. “I will cherish everything we have accomplished together this week and will come back stronger!” “
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.