Emma Raducanu row as Martina Navratilova explains ‘STFU’ remark to John McEnroe

Emma Raducanu: British teen wins US Open

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Emma Raducanu is a Grand Slam champion after winning the US Open on Saturday night. The 18-year-old dispatched Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 to etch her name into the history books. And Martina Navratilova has claimed she told John McEnroe to ‘STFU’ over comments he’d made about her.

Back in July, Raducanu pulled out of Wimbledon after apparently suffering a panic attack on court.

And that led to criticism from McEnroe, who 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 over the last six weeks with Osaka not even here.

“How much can players handle? It makes you look at the guys that have been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle it.

“Hopefully she’ll learn from this experience.”

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Raducanu now has responded in the best way possible, winning the US Open without dropping a single set.

And Navratilova, speaking on The Andrew Marr show, revealed she told McEnroe to ‘STFU’ in the wake of his comments.

“She has very much silenced those critics and I said that at the time ‘STFU’ because you don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said.

“She is a star in the making, this is just a hiccup.

“Little did I know what a small hiccup it really was in the grand scheme of things here.

“I don’t think those people will be talking anything about her mental fitness ever again.”

And she then added: “It’s ridiculous how well she has done.

“She just doesn’t get rattled. She is so switched on in every way and as I say she came out of the box all put together already, no batteries needed. She’s the whole package.

“There’s places where she can get better in her game, definitely, she’s 18, but there are no holes in her game and at 18 that is extraordinary so just impressive in every way.”

While Raducanu’s triumph is the stuff fairytales are made of, Sue Barker has sent a cautious warning.

The former Grand Slam champion feels she needs ‘protecting’ following her win, fearing she could suffer the same mental health issues as Naomi Osaka if she doesn’t.

Barker told LBC News: “We have to remember that Emma is going to suddenly get the pressure and the expectation, she has to have that.

“Personally, the way she’s handling herself, it’s not going to affect her. Hopefully I’m right, with it comes that.

“You mention Naomi Osaka, she was only 20 when she won the US Open and she said it changed her life, changed her life in a way she didn’t like.

“Now, we’re possibly losing her from the game a few years later, which is really sad to see.

“Particularly in this world, not when I was playing in the 1970s, the way social media is used to put pressure on athletes it’s so much harder.

“She needs to be protected. She has a very good team around her and her parents seem so brilliant in the way they’re taking her through, letting her do her A Levels, just managing her career.

“She has great people behind her.”

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