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‘Hardest thing in the world’: Raducanu on Wimbledon withdrawal – Al Jazeera English



British teenage tennis star Emma Raducanu on Tuesday said her decision to retire mid-match in her fourth-round Wimbledon tie was based on medical advice after she “started to breathe heavily and felt dizzy”.

The 18-year-old Raducanu, whose unexpected progress at the major tournament had stunned fans, stopped playing while trailing in the second set of her match against Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday night.

Raducanu was visited by a trainer, then left the court for a medical timeout.

Eventually, the chair umpire announced Raducanu, who is of Chinese and Romanian heritage, would not continue because of a health issue, but did not specify why.

Explaining her withdrawal in a statement posted on social media, Raducanu said she had not been “well enough to carry on”.

“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,” she said.

“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 ranked 338 in the world and two months ago was sitting school exams, also said she was feeling “much better” as of Tuesday morning.

McEnroe remarks draw ire

Her statement came after former tennis ace John McEnroe and several others suggested Raducanu had pulled out of Monday’s match because she could not handle the pressure of the occasion – claims which sparked an immediate backlash.

“I feel bad for Emma, obviously,” McEnroe told viewers during the BBC’s broadcast of her last-16 match, adding: “It appears it got a bit too much, which is understandable.”

He then referred to Naomi Osaka, the four-time major champion who pulled out of the previous Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, and also missed Wimbledon because she said she needed a mental health break.

“How much can players handle? It makes you look at the guys that have been around and the girls for so long – how well they can handle it,” McEnroe said, adding he hoped Raducanu would “learn from this experience”.

The 62-year-old seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, who was known for angry outbursts on the court, regularly appears as an analyst on television coverage at the All England Club.

But Raducanu’s opponent, fellow British tennis player Andy Murray and an array of social media users were quick to criticise his comments.

“I can’t imagine being in her shoes, at 18, playing a fourth round in your home country. It’s something I can’t even imagine,” Tomljanovic said, when asked about McEnroe’s remarks. “For him to say that, it’s definitely harsh.”

Murray said he thought some of what McEnroe had said was “fair” but criticised the timing of his remarks.

“It was a bit off considering nobody had any clue what her issue was injury/illness/breathing issues etc at the time of his comments,” he tweeted.

‘Very harsh’

Meanwhile, several social media users also slammed 56-year-old British broadcaster Piers Morgan, who offered his own commentary on the situation.

“Ms Raducuna’s [sic] a talented player but couldn’t handle the pressure & quit when she was losing badly. Not ‘brave’, just a shame,” tweeted Morgan, who recently quit a TV show after being challenged over his views.

“If I were her, I’d tell my fans to stop abusing McEnroe, & seek his advice on how to toughen up & become a champion like he was.”

Murray dismissed Morgan’s analysis, describing it as “very harsh”.

Wimbledon organisers, for their part, said they were “very sad” about Raducanu’s withdrawal and wished her “all the best with her recovery”.

“She should be commended for the poise and maturity she has shown throughout the Wimbledon fortnight and we very much look forward to welcoming her back to Wimbledon next year and in the years to come,” the tournament’s organisers said in a statement.

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Pistons select Cade Cunningham with No. 1 overall pick in 2021 NBA Draft –



The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.

Cunningham had been widely expected to be the first name called in New York, though Pistons general manager Troy Weaver wouldn’t reveal plans earlier this week and said the team would look at every scenario, including trades.

In the end, Detroit stuck with the 19-year-old mentioned as a potential top pick before ever stepping foot on the Oklahoma State campus.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound point guard from Arlington, Texas, lived up to expectations with his size and fluid game to become a first-team Associated Press All-American. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists with a game that allowed him to hit from 3-point range, score off the dribble or find teammates out of traps.

Cunningham — the first player in Oklahoma State history to be picked No. 1 overall — joins a Pistons franchise that has won 20 games for two straight seasons and hasn’t finished better than .500 for five straight years.

Cunningham was the headliner of a class that included scorers, playmakers and potentially elite defenders at the top. That group included Southern California freshman big man Evan Mobley, Gonzaga freshman point guard Jalen Suggs and Florida State freshman forward Scottie Barnes.

There are also a pair of preps-to-pros prospects in guard Jalen Green and forward Jonathan Kuminga, both of whom bypassed college basketball to play in the G League.

The draft is later than its traditional late-June slot for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted the 2019-20 season. The 2021-22 season is scheduled to return to its normal schedule, with next year’s draft set for June again.

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NBA Draft 2021: Toronto Raptors select Scottie Barnes with the 4th overall pick – RaptorsHQ



The Raptors have upended consensus in the 2021 NBA Draft, opting to select Florida State forward Scottie Barnes with the fourth overall pick. To say this was a complete shock is not entirely true — there was buzz the Raptors were at least somewhat intrigued by Barnes’ potential — but it also felt like Toronto would not take the gamble (e.g. it felt like Jalen Suggs at no. 4 was a lock).

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Barnes joins the Raptors just before his 20th birthday. He’s listed at 6’9” and 227 pounds, which puts him in the small forward category, by my math. Barnes spent one season at Florida State during which he averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game across 24 contests. Admittedly, the numbers don’t exactly pop — Barnes only started seven games — but Toronto must love his potential.

Said potential is what our guy JD got at in his column here. Barnes has serious defensive skills, a player who can already guard almost every position via his strength, speed and know-how. The broadcast compared him to Draymond Green, which is not a bad place to be — particularly for a Raptors team that obviously values defensive ability and versatility. Like Green, Barnes has flashed an advanced play-making game for a forward, and he also has a limited offensive arsenal. Few are looking at Barnes, who shot 28 percent from three and 62 percent from the free-throw line, to be a lights-out gunner. Maybe he gets there in time, or maybe his skill-set is less dependent on his shot.

So then the risk: did the Raptors just get a player who can’t start for the current squad with OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam locked in at the small and power forward position? Could it be that Barnes only tracks as another second or third-ranked player on a championship calibre team? (If that; some are worried he’s the next Stanley Johnson.) In all, the question remains: will Toronto regret missing on Suggs?

Or do the Raptors have something else planned with regards to their roster construction? Right now it’s unclear, but we do know one thing for now: Toronto has selected Scottie Barnes in the 2021 NBA Draft.

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Canada's women's eight rowing crew captures Olympic gold for 1st time in 29 years –



Canada’s women’s eight crew captured gold on the final day of Olympic rowing at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on Friday, winning the event for the first time in 29 years.

New Zealand claimed silver, finishing ahead of bronze winners China.

The only other Olympic gold for Canada in women’s eight came at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, their first time reaching the Olympic podium. Canada’s crew enjoyed continued success with silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000.

Canada claimed silver in the women’s eight event at the 2012 London Olympics before missing the podium in Rio with a fifth place finish.

The men’s eight final wraps up the rowing competition at 9:25 p.m. ET.

More to come.

Bring on the cheers

Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.

More from Tokyo 2020

WATCH l CBC Sports’ The Olympians feature on women’s eight rowing:

Watch CBC Sports’ The Olympians feature, on Women’s 8 Rowing. 2:37

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