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Emma Raducanu’s ‘physical and mental’ wellbeing questioned by John McEnroe ahead of French Open

JOHN McENROE questioned Emma Raducanu’s “physical and mental” wellbeing as the Brit prepares for Roland Garros.

Raducanu, 19, begins her debut French Open campaign against 17-year-old qualifier Linda Noskova on Monday.

Emma Raducanu is making her preparations ahead of the French Open first round
John McEnroe threw doubt over how he thinks the Brit is coping mentally and physically

It will be just the Bromley ace’s tenth ever professional tennis match on clay.

Her last ended in a retirement as Rads was forced to quit her duel with Bianca Andreescu in Rome with a back problem.

That followed early stoppages against Daria Saville in Mexico as well as Alja Tomljanovic which ended her Wimbledon run.

She has also been hit by a series of other injuries including blisters at the Australian Open and a leg problem.

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And McEnroe cast doubt over how the 19-year-old US Open champion is coping a day before her Paris adventure begins.

He said: “I’m not sure where she is physically or mentally right now.

“She obviously did something spectacular at the US Open and you would try to, in some ways, replicate what she was feeling at that time to allow her to play freely.

“That’s a lot harder now because the expectations are a lot higher so she has to find a group that can get her comfortable and allow her to train in a way that she understands is good for her and be able to go on the court and feel some type of joy and happiness playing.

“That’s the trick. But there is no way to do that, or understand how to do that, unless you understand the person.

“That’s the job of a coach or people around her to get her to a place to do what she does best.”

Outspoken McEnroe has never been afraid to share his honest and sometimes brutal opinions on Raducanu.

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He was criticised for suggesting “it got a bit too much” for her as she quit in the Wimbledon fourth round.

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However, McEnroe has thrown his support behind Raducanu’s model to change her coaches so frequently – months after slamming her for doing exactly that.

The Brit got rid of Torben Beltz in April after ditching Nigel Sears and Andrew Richardson despite successes last season and now has LTA coach Iain Bates travelling with her around Europe.

The American three-time Wimbledon champ added to the Daily Mail: “I didn’t believe in a full-time coach either so it really depends on the player.

“These days it seems every player has a coach and I don’t recall who it was when she won the US Open but I must admit I was surprised they parted ways after she won that.

“It was an incredible shock for her to win that. 

“I’m not close enough to the situation to understand what is going on but I’m sure there is a lot of people that would want to coach her.”

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‘I’M VERY HAPPY’

But blocking out the noise around her at Roland Garros, Raducanu is feeling “happy” and excited to make her bow.

The world No12 told the media on Friday: “I’m learning about my body, for sure, and I’m very happy to be continuing my preparations for the French Open and to be able to play this tournament.

“It was definitely thrown into question. I got the all clear to continue with preparations and see how things go.

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“Last week after Rome I definitely had to slow down that week, but this week I have been training and luckily being able to practice all of the shots.

“It feels good to be able to move freely and just like run around. You know, it’s quite fun.”

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