• 19-year-old beaten in near-contest in Lyon with Maria Sharapova • ‘She’s only 19. This is the time to take some risks, to try some things out’
John McEnroe says he cannot believe that 19-year-old Emma Raducanu won the qualifying draw for this year’s US Open, describing her feat as “crazy”.
Raducanu triumphed on Monday with a backhand passing shot at the end of a 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over the Russian Maria Sharapova, who was facing the teenager for the first time in an international match.
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But while McEnroe, who won the men’s singles title at Flushing Meadows in 1981, compared Raducanu’s performance with Americans Lynn Kramer and Chanda Rubin’s victories at the women’s tournament, he was amazed that she was the one to beat Sharapova.
“It’s crazy! I don’t know why she won that one. She has got to be 19. That’s way, way too young for that. One of the reasons I think we play that qualifying is not to defeat the top players,” McEnroe told the US Open’s official website.
“No matter how good you are, you are always going to have some ups and downs. But to beat Maria Sharapova? It’s crazy. I didn’t think she was going to do that. She’s only 19. This is the time to take some risks, to try some things out.”