Emma Raducanu 'overwhelmed' by pressure of being a Grand Slam winner

Emma Raducanu is ‘overwhelmed’ by the pressure of being a Grand Slam winner, says tennis legend John McEnroe after her French Open exit… who slams the ‘unbelievable’ decision to change her coach after winning the US Open

  • John McEnroe says Grand Slam glory has left Emma Raducanu ‘overwhelmed’
  • Tennis legend McEnroe believes Raducanu is unable to handle this new pressure 
  • Raducanu suffered her second consecutive Grand Slam second round defeat 
  • The British No 1 lost 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Paris
  • McEnroe has criticised Raducanu for changing coaches ‘three, four or five times’
  • Her ‘revolving door of coaches’ surprised the seven-time Grand Slam winner

Seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe has claimed the pressure of being a major winner looks to have ‘overwhelmed’ British number one Emma Raducanu. 

The 19-year-old Briton was defeated in the second round of the French Open by world number 49 Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 28, of Belarus on Wednesday. 

This marks Raducanu’s second consecutive second round exit from a Grand Slam as she struggles to replicate the heroics that won her a stunning victory at the US Open in 2021. 

Emma Raducanu has lost in the second round of the French and the Australian Open in 2022

Raducanu become the first ever player to win a Grand Slam having started out as a qualifier

Watch every match from Roland-Garros live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport     

McEnroe told Eurosport: ‘We have got to keep a little perspective here. 

‘At Wimbledon last year she was unable to finish a match because of stress and it got to be too much for her. 

‘Then she came out and did something that no one has ever done – man or woman – in 150 years of tennis, coming from the qualifying and winning. 

‘All of a sudden, there is this pressure on her, this expectation, that has gotten a little bit overwhelming as well.’

John McEnroe won three Wimbledon and four US Open singles titles before retiring in 1994

It is easy to forget that Raducanu is only 19, having already achieved the highest honour in tennis in such dramatic fashion as she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam last year. 

Now ranked 12th in the world she has struggled for form as a result of continuing back injuries and coming to terms with the new stardom that she has had thrust upon her, both on and off the court. 

But she has also been outspoken in her intentions to try to find the right coach for her, and her status as one of the game’s elite compounded with her young age makes it that much harder to find a coach tailored to suit both those needs. 

Raducanu struggled to build on a strong opening set before losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich

McEnroe added: ‘She has changed coaches three, four or five times which is unbelievable for someone who has just come off winning a major.

‘She has sort of put herself in a difficult position because a lot is expected of her and with the people around her, we are not sure if she is comfortable with them just yet. Hopefully in the next year or two she will find that.

‘Honestly, if I won the US Open having gone through qualifying, I wouldn’t change my coach at least for the next year, so I don’t understand that move. 

‘Obviously her parents are involved and they know more than I know. 

The world no 12 marked her French Open debut by beating Linda Noskova in the first round

‘But this idea of a revolving door of coaches I just don’t think that’s good for any player, much less so for a player at this stage of her career. 

‘We have to wait and see and hopefully she finds someone she can stick with for a while.’

Whilst she will know that there is enough time to find the right fit, she will need to bounce back quickly if she is to improve on recent performances in front of the home crowds at Wimbledon. 

Having retired due to reported illness in the fourth round of last year’s tournament, she will want desperately to prove the likes of McEnroe wrong and show that she can handle with the pressure her US Open title brought with it. 

Watch every match from Roland-Garros live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport 

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