Prime Minister hails Emma Raducanu’s ‘resilience under pressure’

Boris Johnson has praised US Open champion Emma Raducanu for showing “resilience under pressure” during her final match.

It comes after the 18-year-old from Kent faced harsh criticism over her withdrawal from Wimbledon this summer, during which she retired early from her clash with Australian tennis player Ajla Tomljanovic in the fourth-round due to breathing difficulties.

Her withdrawal from the competition sparked disapproving comments, including by American former tennis professional John McEnroe, who claimed Ms Raducanu dropped out because she was unable to handle the occasion.

Piers Morgan took to Twitter to say the teenager needed to “toughen up”.

In his latest tweet following the Sunday-night championship game, Morgan referred to Ms Raducanu as the “Wimbledon choker” and also suggested her victory in the US was a result of her taking his advice.

During a visit to a British Gas training academy in Leicester, the Prime Minister told reporters: “I think it was stunning and I am sure, like everybody else, I watched the whole thing with my heart in my mouth.

“I couldn’t believe how hard they were walloping that ball.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson praised Emma Raducanu’s resilience (Rui Vieira/PA)

“An incredible sort of resilience under pressure, that was what came through to me.

“There were so many moments where you thought the match was going to go the wrong way and then she held it together – it’s just fantastic. So, many, many congratulations.”

Ms Raducanu is the first-ever qualifier to win the tournament, taking the trophy in New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium after defeating 19-year-old Leylah Fernandex without dropping a set.

Her rapid rise to sporting stardom has seen her go from number 338 in the world to number 23. She is now the new British number one.