John McEnroe

Second Service: John McEnroe defends Emma Raducanu comments; Ash Barty doubt to defend WTA crown

On Second Service today, John McEnroe defends his comments about Emma Raducanu following Wimbledon and Ash Barty is a doubt to defend her WTA finals crown. 

Firstly, McEnroe has defended the comments he made when Raducanu withdrew from Wimbledon earlier this year, saying he was ‘very supportive of her at the time’.

Making her Major debut, Raducanu retired from her fourth-round match at Wimbledon due to breathing difficulties, while McEnroe, said the occasion appeared to get ‘a little bit too much’ for her.

Since then, the American has heaped praise on the Brit for her stunning US Open victory, and said his comments at Wimbledon had been blown out of proportion after he was met with a backlash.

“I meant exactly what I said,” McEnroe told CNN in an interview on Tuesday.

“I tried to relate it in a small way to my experience when I first went to Wimbledon, also at 18.

Discussing her US Open heroics, he said: “I don’t think you could possibly do it any better than she did it when the US Open. “That’s insane.”

Emma Raducanu US Open 2021

See more of what McEnroe had to say here

In other news, it is looking highly unlikely that Ashleigh Barty will compete in this year’s WTA Finals following an unusual relocation.

The world number one had a disappointing US Open, but could still finish her year on a high at the season-ending tournament.

With the Chinese swing cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, the WTA Finals this year have been relocated to Guadalajara, Mexico.

This brings up a number of problems, not least the fact that matches will be played at altitude.

“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500 metres and they’re using pressureless balls,” Craig Tyzzer, coach to Barty, told AAP.

“In conditions they’ve never played, in a country they don’t play and at altitude, I just feel it’s ridiculous. As a spectacle, it’s just frightening.”

Ashleigh Barty US Open 2021

Take a look at Tyzzer’s full quotes here

On the topic of the world number one, Tyzzer has said that Barty requires an extended rest after a gruelling season consisting of over six months playing on the road.

The world number one has played nine tournaments and claimed four titles since leaving Australia back in March, and will be winding down her 2021 soon.

“She needs to get home, she’s a super homebody,” Tyzzer told the Australian Associated Press.

“Indian Wells is still on the radar but she just needs a rest. She was physically and mentally exhausted. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday and just refresh everything.

“We’ll probably make a decision at the end of the week about what she’s going to do depending on where she’s at.”

Ashleigh Barty US Open 2021

See more of what Tyzzer had to say here

Lastly, following his defeat to Daniil Medvedev which denied him the Calendar Slam, Novak Djokovic now has an unwanted Grand Slam record to his name.

The world number one has now appeared in nine US Open finals, winning three and losing six – the most losses by any player in the final of a single Major.

In those six finals he has lost to Stan Wawrinka (2016), Rafael Nadal (2010 and 2013), Andy Murray (2012) and Roger Federer (2007 and 2009) on top of the Medvedev loss.

Novak Djokovic

See more about Djokovic’s unwanted record here


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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.