‘She has every right to say these facts’: Johanna Konta defends Emma Raducanu after the teenager says ‘it’s a joke’ that there is pressure on her at 19 years old following early Wimbledon exit
Raducanu was thrust into the spotlight following her run to the fourth round in SW19 last year before becoming the first ever singles qualifier to win a Grand Slam at the US Open.
A level of expectation was therefore placed on the 19-year-old coming into this year’s tournament at the All England Club, despite her preparations being hampered by a side strain.
Emma Raducanu was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round by Caroline Garcia
But after beating Alison Van Uytvanck on her Centre Court debut in the first round, Raducanu then lost 6-3 6-3 to Caroline Garcia in round two.
Following her defeat, the British No 1 hit back at critics who have suggested she is struggling to live up to the hype.
‘There’s no pressure,’ Raducanu said. ‘Like, why is there any pressure? I’m still 19. Like, it’s a joke. I literally won a Slam.’
While some fans have questioned the teenager’s spiky response, former Wimbledon semi-finalist Konta backed Raducanu for standing up for herself.
After her loss, the 19-year-old said ‘it’s a joke’ there is pressure on her at such an early age
Former British No 1 Johanna Konta has praised Raducanu for speaking ‘facts’ and her ‘maturity’
‘She definitely presents modern maturity in her knowledge about herself and what she wants to do and the direction she wants to go,’ Konta told the Daily Express.
‘What she said is a fact, she is a Grand Slam champion and she’s 19 years old so they’re literally just facts that she said.
‘She has every right to say these facts. In terms of pressure, again pressure is very much absorbed and dealt with individually.
Raducanu was thrust into the spotlight after winning the US Open in September last year
‘I think it’s great if she’s able to digest the situation in this way and see it in a way that it’s just a part of the job and actually not a big deal.’
Konta, who retired from tennis last year, also called for patience as Raducanu continues to develop on the world stage.
‘Obviously Emma is going to continue to be working to improve physically and improve her tennis’ she said. ‘So that’s going to take time and I think we all know that.’