'Horrible situation': Roger Federer's warning to Emma Raducanu

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·Sports Editor
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Roger Federer, pictured here speaking at the Laver Cup.
Roger Federer has sent a warning to the likes of Emma Raducanu. Image: Getty

Roger Federer has sent a warning to young tennis stars like Emma Raducanu, saying more needs to be done to help them deal with negativity and abuse on social media.

Raducanu has shot to worldwide fame after becoming the first qualifier in tennis history to win a grand slam.

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The 18-year-old shocked the tennis world earlier this month when she won the US Open in just her second appearance at a major.

Earlier this year, Raducanu had received criticism after retiring from her fourth round match at Wimbledon with breathing difficulties in her grand slam debut.

And Naomi Osaka is another player who has received some sickening online abuse during her struggles with mental health issues.

"It's been amazing, both of their stories," Federer told GQ Magazine in regards to Raducanu and Osaka.

"But it hurts when you see what happens and when they don't feel well.

"The stress is so great. And I think a lot has to be down to social media."

The Swiss legend said he's grateful that social media wasn't around when he was first making his way on the professional circuit.

“The first 10 years of my life there was no social media, maybe I had just a website, then the next 10 years social media was everywhere," he said.

“I can’t imagine going through the beginning of my career with social media - I have no clue how I would have handled it.

“For every 10 nice comments there’s always one negative comment and, of course, that is the one you focus on."

Emma Raducanu, pictured here at the LTA's National Tennis Centre.
Emma Raducanu talks on stage at the LTA's National Tennis Centre. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for LTA)

Naomi Osaka hints at return to tennis

Osaka said earlier this month she planned to take an indefinite break from the sport after an early exit from the US Open.

The 23-year-old had previously pulled out of the French Open and skipped Wimbledon to protect her mental health.

The four-time grand slam champion has since withdrawn from next week's Indian Wells event but says she will return to tennis soon after feeling the "itch" to play again.

"I know I'm going to play again," Osaka told HBO show 'The Shop'.

Adding that her return would be "probably soon", Osaka said: "I kind of have that itch again.

"It wouldn't really matter to me if I won or lost, I'd just have the joy of being back on the court."

Osaka, who recently dropped out of the top five in the world rankings, said her problems were exacerbated by speaking to the media after matches.

She had also made an early exit from Cincinnati last month, and had bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics in the early rounds in July.

"Players, the tournaments, journalists, we need to sit down together in a room and go, 'OK, what would work for you and what works for us,'" Federer said.

"We need a revolution. Or at least an evolution of where we are today.

“It’s a horrible situation. Even when I am feeling down I know I need to act a certain way in front of the world’s press.

“We need to remember that tennis players are athletes and professionals, but we are also human too.”

with agencies

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