Emma Raducanu to have ‘a few days’ rest’ before returning to training

John McEnroe has defended his comments about the teenager after her fourth-round exit at Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu is still on cloud nine after her US Open success
Emma Raducanu is still on cloud nine after her US Open success

Emma Raducanu has admitted to still being on “cloud nine” after her stunning US Open victory and plans a few days of rest before she is back playing tennis again.

The 18-year-old defeated Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday to become Great Britain’s first female grand slam winner in 44 years.

It was only Raducanu’s second appearance at a major and the new world number 23 has made headlines across the globe, appeared on various TV channels in the United States and she also attended the Met Gala on Monday.

A day later the player from Kent ticked off another long-term aspiration when she visited Wall Street.

“I am on cloud nine but so excited to be here on New York Stock Exchange. It was one of the places on my bucket list before leaving New York and I’m just so excited and grateful to everyone who made this possible,” Raducanu told CNBC’s Closing Bell programme on Tuesday.

“I have a few days’ rest and recovery (coming up), I think needed after the last seven weeks but then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.”

Raducanu only completed her A-levels earlier in the summer, achieving A* in mathematics and an A in economics at Newstead Wood School in Orpington.

The teenager revealed she always had a big interest in the New York Stock Exchange, adding: “It is something I have been studying at school, in my A-levels.

“I just always had a keen interest. My parents were both in finance and to see it live is incredible.”

Weeks after Raducanu sat her exams, the Toronto-born ace shone at Wimbledon, making the fourth round in impressive fashion before she was forced to retire from her last-16 match with Ajla Tomljanovic on Centre Court owing to breathing difficulties.

John McEnroe, a three-time winner at the All England Club, said at the time he felt the occasion “got a little bit too much” for the wildcard and linked it to Naomi Osaka’s mental health difficulties.

Raducanu responded emphatically on court in America and showed her newly improved physicality by not dropping a set in Flushing Meadows, having had to come through qualifying to make the main draw.

Asked in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour what he meant by his comments back in July, McEnroe said: “I meant exactly what I said.

“I tried to relate it in a small way to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon, also at 18, and managed to qualify, like Emma did, get through to the semis.

“She did better than I did. I played Jimmy Connors, I hadn’t been on the Centre Court and I remember my legs shaking, feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience and almost happy that I didn’t win.

“Subsequently I went to Stanford for a year and had some time to sort of regroup mentally and prepare for the rigours of the tour.

“There’s a lot of great upsides, but there’s also pressure you put on yourself and expectations that others put on you.”

McEnroe was criticised heavily at the time for his comments, but insisted that “compared to a lot of other things that I have said in the past, that was about, to me, as vanilla as they come” and stressed: “I was very supportive of her, I thought, at the time.”

He added: “More importantly than what I said, I think, is how she handled it moving forward, because I’m sure there was a lot of concern in the British tennis association, along with people in her family and the people that work with her, how is she going to be able to handle this sort of newfound fame?

“I don’t think you could possibly do it any better than she did it. Win the US Open? Are you kidding me? That’s insane, in that she’s been able to do this.”

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