Tim Henman and Sue Barker get into Emma Raducanu debate after Wimbledon exit
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Tim Henman and Sue Barker disagreed on Emma Raducanu’s tactics during her second-round 6-3, 6-3 defeat to Caroline Garcia at Wimbledon. The pair debated live during the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage following the 19-year-old’s exit, as former French Open champion Barker believed that Raducanu should have been more aggressive.
“I thought maybe she could have got more first serves in,” she said. “Maybe not let Garcia dominate the points so much, take a few more chances.” Henman replied: “If you take more chances you make more mistakes.” Barker reiterated her point back at the four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist. “But you have got to try something.”
Raducanu struggled with Garcia’s willingness to come to the net as the former world No 4 took the teenager’s serve for a 4-2 lead in the opening set, which she went on to win in 39 minutes. Raducanu lost serve for 3-2 in the second set and immediately broke back, but a double fault at deuce 3-3 proved costly for the Brit on Centre Court.
Raducanu hit back at any suggestion that she was feeling the pressure at Wimbledon this year following her success in America. “There’s no pressure,” she said in her post-match press conference. “Like, why is there any pressure? I’m still 19. Like, it’s a joke. I literally won a slam.”
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Wimbledon champion in 2013 Marion Bartoli agreed with Raducanu and claimed that the results at this stage of her career are not important. “I would say what I’ve said for the last eight months,” Bartoli told BBC 5 Live. “None of this matters. In two years, if she loses heavily in the second round I’ll be concerned for her progress.
“But until then it’s about building an athlete that can withstand the level she is now playing at. Results are really not that important in the meantime. They just need to be good enough to enable her to complete that process.”
Raducanu had the home crowd’s support, but after her victory Garcia admitted she was able to draw upon the experience of being a French player at Roland Garros to know what to expect going into the contest.
“I was really preparing for this match really well,” Garcia said. “Emma is a huge player and in her home tournament and she proved she can do very well on the big stage. I really enjoyed playing on Centre Court, it was my first time and very special.
“I am a French player so I know how it is in Roland Garros. It’s fair that they support Emma and of course it is a great memory for me and as always it is a lot of respect.”
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