Leylah Fernandez backtracks over Emma Raducanu US Open row after Andy Roddick defends Brit

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Emma Raducanu’s US Open final opponent Leylah Rodriguez has admitted she was wrong to protest about the Briton’s medical timeout during the match as she sought treatment for a cut on her knee. The 18-year-old was bleeding and needed to be patched up, but Rodriguez and some spectators at the Arthur Ashe Stadium were not pleased with the timing of the break.

Tennis rules quite clearly state that play must be stopped “as soon as possible and the sports physiotherapist must be called to court by the chair umpire for evaluation and treatment”.

And that’s what happened as soon as blood was spotted trickling down Raducanu’s leg during the point after she had slid and grazed her knee to return at the back of the court.

Fernandez had a break point when play was stopped, and the Canadian was visibly frustrated that her momentum had been stopped.

Some sections of the crowd also voiced their disapproval of the stoppage, but Fernandez later admitted she was wrong to complain and that the medical timeout was in-keeping with the sport’s regulations.

The 19-year-old added it was the gravity of the occasion – she too was playing in her first Grand Slam final after knocking out a string of far more experienced players – which had put her so on edge.

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Fernandez said: “I honestly did not know what was happening with Emma. I didn’t know how serious her fall was, that’s why I went to see the official and ask her about it.

“It just happened in the heat of the moment. It was too bad that it happened in that specific moment with me, with the momentum. But it’s sports, it’s tennis. Just got to move on.”

It comes after former US Open champion Andy Roddick rushed to Raducanu’s defence over the incident which sparked controversy in the tennis world.

“Everyone trying to kill joy by overreacting to the stoppage in play to stop the knee bleeding, just stop… It’s not even Emma’s call,” the former world number one tweeted.

“They will not allow active bleeding while on court. Had to be addressed. Out of her control. This match won’t be defined by that. Just stop.”

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Martina Navratilova, commentating live on Amazon Prime, also defended the Brit as the rules dictate the match had to be stopped to stem of the flow of the bleeding.

“It’s not Raducanu’s choice,” she said. “Blood is streaming down your leg there’s nothing you can do about it.

“It’s unfortunate for both players.”

While the incident has divided opinion, there is nowhere near as much animosity as there was surrounding the biggest timeout controversy at this year’s tournament at Flushing Meadows.

That came after the first round match between Andy Murray and Stefano Tsitsipas, when the Scot blasted his opponent after his loss for “cheating” by taking what he felt were tactical comfort breaks to disrupt Murray’s rhythm.

The Greek has maintained he is not breaking any rules by taking breaks of seven or eight minutes during games, but it sparked a huge row over the legality of such timeouts and a call for changes to the rules.

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