Footballer Marcus Rashford surprised Emma Raducanu with a public message after she had to retire from her latest match because of breathing difficulties.
Rashford said what happened to Raducanu happened to him when he was playing for the England national under-16 football team against Wales.
‘The country is proud’
He said he remembers it “to this day” and that it never happened since, and addressed Raducanu following her performance, saying: “You should be very proud of yourself. The country is proud of you. Glad to read your feeling better. Onwards and upwards.”
Raducanu thanked him for the “kind words” and said the message “means a lot” to her.
“I’ll keep building and be back stronger!,” she added.
Thanks so much for the kind words, this message means a lot to me. I’ll keep building and be back stronger! 🏴 https://t.co/R3CGl0AG4U— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) July 6, 2021
The exchange followed a public statement made by Raducanu yesterday, in which she said she is feeling better after experiencing ‘heavy breathing and dizziness’ during her match against Ajla Tomljanović.
‘I wanted to win for you’
Raducanu said: “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.”
She added: “I want to thank the people who have cheered me on every single match, I wanted to win so badly for you!
“I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger!”
thank you for the support❤️ pic.twitter.com/C47TTvOQK9— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) July 6, 2021
Piers Morgan defended John McEnroe by telling Raducanu to ‘toughen up’
Rashford’s public support of Raducanu comes after Piers Morgan defended BBC commentator John McEnroe, who suggested that for Raducanu, 18, playing in the last 16 of Wimbledon could have been “a little too much”.
Misspelling Raducanu’s last name, the former ITV presenter said it was a “shame” she quit and batted off suggestions that she had been brave.
“Ms Raducuna’s a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure and quit when she was losing badly. Not ‘brave’, just a shame,” he said.
“If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe and seek his advice on how to toughen up and become a champion like he was.”
McEnroe, who won Wimbledon three times, said “it appears it just got a little bit too much, as is understandable”, adding he hopes “she’ll learn from this experience”.
Raducanu’s latest win was over Sorana Cirstea, the world No 45 from Romania.