Emma Raducanu ‘extremely grateful’ to Marcus Rashford for consoling her after Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu eases into US Open quarter-finals

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Emma Raducanu, 18, has shared her gratefulness towards Marcus Rashford, 23, who was one of the first to reach out to her on Twitter after she was forced to retire from her Wimbledon match due to a medical condition. The tennis sensation admitted it was “very comforting” to hear kind words from other sporting stars as some media personalities including Piers Morgan questioned her decision to end the game.

The 18-year-old has wowed fans in New York over the past week with a stunning run to the quarter-finals of the US Open as a qualifier.

Raducanu almost pulled off the same feat at Wimbledon this summer, bursting onto the scene to reach the fourth round before being forced to retire after falling ill.

The tennis star sought medical treatment but decided it was best to withdraw without completing the rest of the match.

She released an emotional statement at the time citing breathing difficulties.

Several observers, including John McEnroe, Kevin Pietersen and Piers Morgan, questioned the teenager’s “mental toughness”.

But England hero Rashford leapt to her defence, revealing he suffered a similar problem during an Under-16s game against Wales seven years ago.

Rashford tweeted: “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.”

And, speaking to Vogue, Raducanu opened up about the Three Lions star’s act of kindness.

Raducanu said: “[It was] very comforting in that moment.

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“I was feeling like I let people down, so for him to reassure me like that – I was extremely grateful.”

Meanwhile BBC commentator and former professional tennis player McEnroe came under fire for his comments on Raducunu’s exit from Wimbledon 2021.

The 18-year-old British tennis player withdrew from her match against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic after suffering “difficulty breathing”.

Addressing the incident, the American sportsman said: “I feel bad for Emma, obviously.

“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 [Naomi] Osaka not even here.”

The three-times Wimbledon singles champion added that when he played the game at 18, he “understood” what was needed to win.

“I played this tournament at 18 and in a way I was happy I lost. I was able to understand what it would take to make it,” he said

Former GMB host Morgan agreed and typed: “[John] McEnroe told the truth. Ms Raducanu’s a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure & quit when she was losing badly.

“Not ‘brave’, just a shame. If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was.”

See the full feature in the October issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands Friday 10th September. 

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