Andy Murray has hit out at Piers Morgan over the controversial media personality's comments about Emma Raducanu.
Raducanu was forced to retire during her fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic at Wimbledon on Monday with breathing difficulties.
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Tomljanovic was up 6-4 3-0 when Raducanu left the court for a medical timeout and never returned.
Tennis legend John McEnroe was widely condemned for his comments about Raducanu's retirement after the match, and just a few hours later it was Morgan's turn to spark outrage.
In defending McEnroe, Morgan wrote on Twitter: "McEnroe told the truth. Ms Raducuna’s a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure & quit when she was losing badly.
"Not ‘brave’, just a shame. If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was."
McEnroe had earlier said in commentary for BBC: “It’s a shame. I feel bad for Emma. It appears like it just got too much, which is understandable.
“It makes you look at the guys and girls who have been around for so long and wonder how they handle it. Hopefully she will learn from this experience.
“Maybe it’s not a shame this has happened right now when she is 18. I played this tournament at 18 and in a way I was happy I lost.
“I was able to understand what it would take to make it. Allow her to take some deep breaths and maybe get some wildcards.”
Many felt that McEnroe's comments were insensitive and poorly timed, but the backlash was nothing compared to that received by Morgan on Tuesday.
"Think this is a very harsh take on the situation Piers," British tennis champion Murray tweeted.
"I think some of what [McEnroe] said was fair yes, however the timing of it was a bit off considering nobody had any clue what her issue was injury/illness/breathings issues etc at the time of his comments."
Tennis journalist David Law wrote about Morgan: "This is someone who called Marin Cilic ‘pathetic’ for crying, accused Naomi Osaka of ‘exploiting’ mental health, and said he ‘didn’t believe’ Meghan Markle in an interview in which she said she’d had suicidal thoughts."
Others labelled Morgan's comments "appalling" and "disgusting".
Think this is a very harsh take on the situation Piers https://t.co/rGuWC5ScDT
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) July 6, 2021
This is someone who called Marin Cilic ‘pathetic’ for crying, accused Naomi Osaka of ‘exploiting’ mental health, and said he
‘didn’t believe’ Meghan Markle in an interview in which she said she’d had suicidal thoughts.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) July 6, 2021
The thing is, neither you, nor McEnroe, nor any of us knew last night what she was seeking medical help for. And surely a BBC commentator should know better than to opine publicly on what he believes (without evidence) that to be. https://t.co/c6Ri3CwxDm
— Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) July 6, 2021
I have respected some of your views in the past but your criticism here of a sportswoman who has literally just finished school is appalling. I speak as a school headteacher. What type of example are YOU setting Piers?
— Alan Rowlands (@Alanlrowlands) July 6, 2021
— Paul (@hpsperform) July 6, 2021
There have been some appalling comments the last 24 hours from McEnroe and Piers Morgan to say the least. Sadly the media pays too much for the extreme opinion rather than the thoughtful evidence these days. Hopefully she is well soon and has many years of success. #EmmaRadacanu https://t.co/Sx2pAPropL
— Mark D (@Atticus_75) July 6, 2021
Disgusting as ever. Im glad Emma doesnt have you as a father or coach. Your constant verbal attacks on women for no reason whatsoever are pretty weird. As for walking off....well....what can we say....
— Nicholas Hancock (@onenickhancock) July 6, 2021
Absolutely scummy comments from KP and Piers Morgan today. Really horrific lack of empathy or recognition of the situation Emma found herself in. Pair of bullying dinosaurs.
— John Flannelly 💙 (@JohnFlannelly) July 6, 2021
Genuinely curious about just what it is that Piers Morgan hates about women (it's always, in his case, women) who open up about anything he perceives as weakness. It's vile thinking from a vile man. https://t.co/2ulmw4OJge
— Paul Sayers (@RandomCharStr) July 6, 2021
Emma Raducanu speaks out after sad Wimbledon exit
Raducanu has since revealed she struggled with her breathing and felt dizzy before being advised to retire, saying: "I think the whole experience caught up with me."
Writing on Twitter, the 18-year-old said: "Hi guys, I wanted to let everyone know that I'm feeling much better this morning.
"First up I want to congratulate Ajla on an incredible performance and I'm sorry our match ended the way it did.
"I was playing the best tennis of my life in front of an amazing crowd this week and I think the whole experience caught up with me.
"At the end of the first set, after some super intense rallies, I started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy.
"The medical team advised me not to continue and, although it felt like the hardest thing in the world not to be able to finish my Wimbledon on the court, I was not well enough to carry on.
"I want to thank the people who have cheered me on every single match, I wanted to win so badly for you!
"I also want to thank the All England Club, my team, the LTA, my parents and friends.
"Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top. I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger! Can't wait to see what's next on my journey."
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