Raducanu upset the percentages to develop into the primary qualifier to win a grand slam in the course of the Open period on Saturday, beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez within the last at Flushing Meadows.
Her breathtaking performances in New York got here off the again of a promising debut at Wimbledon simply two months earlier than, the place she reached the fourth spherical earlier than withdrawing with “respiration difficulties.”
“Totally surprising. Never thought it will occur in my lifetime to see an 18 and 19-year-old do it,” McEnroe informed CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, talking of the all-teen last on the US Open.
“I feel the ladies’s recreation is extra open than it is ever been in order that’s an indication that much more gamers assume they’ve an opportunity.
“I am unable to think about anybody in her [Raducanu] camp anticipated this. To win the US Open with out dropping a set, that is loopy. She’s an amazing athlete, she looks as if an amazing child.”
Following Raducanu’s withdrawal from Wimbledon, McEnroe was criticized for saying the state of affairs had develop into “an excessive amount of” for her.
At the time, it was not clear what made the teenager cease taking part in, however she later mentioned the “entire expertise caught up with me” and that she started to “breathe closely and felt dizzy” after various “tremendous intense rallies.”
McEnroe acquired backlash from folks saying he was questioning the teenager’s psychological power however insists he by no means meant to trigger offense and solely ever supposed to assist the breakthrough star.
“I meant precisely what I mentioned,” he added. “I attempted to narrate it in a small approach to my expertise once I first went to Wimbledon additionally at 18 and managed to qualify like Emma did.
“I performed Jimmy Connors, I hadn’t been on Centre Court. I keep in mind my leg shaking and being completely overwhelmed by the expertise and virtually pleased I did not win.
“There’s loads of nice upsides, however there’s additionally strain you placed on your self and expectations that others placed on you.
“Compared to loads of different issues I’ve mentioned up to now, I imply that was to me as vanilla because it comes. I used to be very supportive of her, I assumed, on the time.”
The seven-time grand slam singles winner — who was famend for his mid-match antics — says he hopes Raducanu can take care of the newfound consideration on her profession.
The teenager was barely identified outdoors of tennis earlier than this yr however is now one of many largest stars within the recreation.
“I do not assume you might presumably do it any higher than she did it [at the U.S. Open],” McEnroe added. “That’s insane that she’s been ready to do that.”
“Of course, strain comes with that, expectation comes with that. I’m positive she expects to win much more shifting ahead.”