Emma Raducanu: Expert on 'possible factors' of Wimbledon exit
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Anne Keothavong has backed Emma Raducanu to come back stronger next year after the British teenager’s Wimbledon run came to an unfortunate end on Monday evening. Raducanu was forced to retire from her fourth-round match against Ajla Tomljanovic due to breathing difficulties.
The 18-year-old was trailing 6-4, 3-0 when she called the trainer in the second set, having appeared uncomfortable for a few games.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no further details have been released about Raducanu’s breathing difficulties
Tomljanovic went through to face fellow Australian Ashleigh Barty in the quarter-finals, while Raducanu will try to come to terms with her achievement.
Raducanu was playing at her first major tournament as a wildcard and was ranked 338th in the world before Wimbledon.
Keothavong, the former British number one and Raducanu’s Billie Jean King Cup captain, believes the experience could prove to be the making of the youngster.
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“No-one enjoyed watching that. It was really disappointing for everyone. It was hard to see that coming,” she said on BBC Two.
“We have to remind ourselves she’s 18 years of age, she’s here on her Grand Slam debut and has reached the fourth round.
“She’s had very little experience at Tour level. It’s only her second main draw of a Tour event and what she has achieved has been outstanding.
“Hopefully in time she can sit back and reflect on her achievements because there has been some fantastic tennis from her.
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“If she’s given space and time she can look to improve and come back next year stronger.”
Raducanu and Tomljanovic were made to wait until 8pm to start their match on Court One because the previous match, between Alex Zverev and Felix Auger-Aliassime, was a five-set thriller.
Watched by a big audience in the stadium and by millions on the BBC, Raducanu began nervously before growing into the occasion, only for health problems to provide a heart-breaking end to her tournament.
“It was a big moment and she was aware of it,” Keothavong added.
“She’s a smart girl. She’s very self assured but you can’t help but ignore all of those factors. There was a lot of time for her to think about it but I know that she prepared the same way she did for the previous matches.
“She purposefully practiced over at Aorangi to make sure she wasn’t bombarded by people in the crowd on the main courts. She kept herself to herself. It’s just unfortunate the way things panned out.
“I don’t think you could have predicted the previous match going as long as it did because [Felix] Auger-Aliassime was two sets to love up.
“She would’ve warmed up probably three or four times waiting to go on. But that’s tennis. You have to adapt. You have to find a way. She’ll find herself in similar situations again and she’ll be stronger for it.”
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