Andy Murray has urged the media to be less critical of Emma Raducanu and allow the teenager to simply “be who she is.”
Ahead of her second Wimbledon tournament, there is a lot of pressure on the Brit’s shoulders and she has come under scrutiny since she won the US Open last year.
The world number 12 has struggled to replicate the winning form she showed in New York and has found herself struggling with injuries in recent months.
Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title when she triumphed at Flushing Meadows in September, but she has since been unable to make it past the quarter-finals of any tournament.
Andy Murray has been a vocal supporter of Raducanu since her professional debut and once again, the two-time Wimbledon champion is in her corner.
“I think there needs to be a level of trust and respect between the player and the media,” he said in a recent interview with BBC Sport.
“I also had problems early in my career where maybe certain things that I said got taken out of context or jokes that I might have made turned into big stories and big headlines where it turned things a bit sour and negative.
“Just let her be who she is, and you know, she might say some things that are a joke or that she maybe doesn’t mean or whatever.”
Emma Raducanu has won just seven matches this year, despite playing in ten tournaments — including the Australian Open and the French Open.
Most recently, the 19-year-old was forced to retire from the Nottingham Open due to a rib problem.
And while her results on the court have been a shadow of her iconic US Open run, Raducanu has been excelling in her business endeavours, though this has also led to a lot of negative comments.
Since winning her first Grand Slam, the British number one has signed ambassador deals with brands including Evian and Porsche, as well as fashion house Dior and jeweller Tiffany & Co.
Emma Raducanu has been accused of prioritising her brand endorsements over playing tennis and since being catapulted into the public eye, nearly every move of her’s is being documented and criticised by some.
“There’s a few people in this room I’m sure when they were 18, 19, made some mistakes and did some things they shouldn’t have done and said some things they definitely shouldn’t have said, and athletes are the same,” Murray continued.
“We will make mistakes and say the wrong thing at times but just maybe don’t judge us too harshly when we do that and I’m sure that would help Emma a little bit.”
Raducanu is currently without a full-time tennis coach, having recently parted ways with Torben Beltz. But she is looking to bounce back at Wimbledon later this month and hopefully avenge her last attempt, which forced her to withdraw in the fourth round due to breathing difficulties.