Original article from Kent Live
Emma Raducanu has released an emotional statement explaining why she was forced to exit Wimbledon on Monday (July 5) night.
The Orpington grammar school pupil, 18, was 0-3 down in the second set against Australian opponent Ajla Tomljanovi when she was forced to withdraw from the match due to medical reasons.
The Wimbledon wildcard appeared to be hyperventilating before leaving the court and championship organisers later confirmed she had retired from the contest because of "difficulty breathing".
The teenager revealed at the end of the first set, after some "intense rallies", she started to "breathe heavily and felt dizzy", she posted on social media.
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She explained the medical team advised her not to continue playing the match, describing the move as "the hardest thing in the world".
She said on social media: "Hi guys, I wanted to let everyone know that I am feeling much better this morning (July 6).
"First up, 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."
Raducanu, who is yet to sit her A-Levels, added: "I want to thank the people who have cheered me on every single match, I wanted to win so badly for you!
"I also want to thank the All England Club, my team, the LTA, my parents and friends. Last night will go a long way to helping me learn what it takes to perform at the top.
"I will cherish everything we have achieved together this week and come back stronger! Can’t wait to see what’s next on my journey."
Sports stars Andy Murray and Marcus Rashford also defended Raducanu after a row erupted over her "mental toughness".
This came after grand slam winner John McEnroe suggested that "it got a bit too much" for the rising star, believing she cracked under the pressure.
His opinion was backed by former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan on Twitter who said: "McEnroe told the truth.
"Ms Raducanu's a talented player but couldn't handle the pressure and quit when she was losing badly.
"Not ''brave'', just a shame. 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."
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was quick to defend Raducanu from the pair's comments and said it was a "very harsh take on the situation".
He wrote on social media: "No question mental toughness can be what separates the best in sport, but surely both of you aren't judging her mental toughness on yesterday's match?!"
Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford leapt to Raducanu's defence, describing a similar incident that once happened to him.
He tweeted: "'It happened to me playing for the national team in U16s against Wales. I remember it to this day.
'No explanation for it and it never happened again. You should be very proud of yourself.
"The country is proud of you. Glad to read you're feeling better. Onwards and upwards."