Tennis world erupts over Emma Raducanu's return to Wimbledon

Emma Raducanu, pictured here at Wimbledon watching the women's final.
Emma Raducanu returned to Wimbledon to watch the women's final. Image: Getty

Tennis fans were delighted on Saturday when Emma Raducanu was spotted in the crowd at Wimbledon for the women's final between Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova.

Raducanu made a heartbreaking exit from the grass-court grand slam in the fourth round when she retired during the second set against Ajla Tomljanovic.

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The 18-year-old had captivated the UK with her remarkable run to the last 16 on her grand slam debut.

But she was unable to complete her match against Tomljanovic on Monday evening, withdrawing after an off-court medical timeout while trailing 6-4 3-0.

Raducanu later revealed she had been struggling to breathe and became overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation on Centre Court in prime time.

Fans were heartbroken when the teenager was forced to retire, so they were overjoyed to see her back at Wimbledon on Saturday looking happy and smiling.

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Writing on Twitter on Tuesday, Raducanu 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.

Emma Raducanu, pictured here leaving the court for a medical timeout at Wimbledon.
Emma Raducanu leaves the court for a medical timeout. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty Images)

"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."

Difficulty breathing was given as the official reason for her withdrawal but the initial lack of explanation for what caused it led to intense speculation.

John McEnroe and Piers Morgan were heavily criticised for suggesting after the match that she could not handle the occasion.

Andy Murray weighed in, replying to a tweet from Kevin Pietersen about mental toughness being what separated good athletes from great ones.

"No question mental toughness can be what separates the best in sport but surely both of you aren't judging her mental toughness on yesterday's match?!" Murray wrote.

"I think some of what he (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."

with AAP

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