Nick Kyrgios blasted a former tennis pro after claiming Emma Raducanu has lost the respect of the locker room, with the teen having struggled for form since winning the US Open last September
Nick Kyrgios has leapt to the defence of Emma Raducanu after claims she is ‘losing respect of the dressing room.’ The teen suffered defeat in her first match at the Miami Open, squandering a lead to lose 6-3, 4-6, 5-7 to Kateřina Siniaková.
Following her stunning US Open win, Raducanu has struggled retain any kind of form. After a heavy loss at the Sydney international in January, when she won just one game against Elena Rybakina, her last four defeats have each gone to a deciding set.
As a result, Amazon Prime pundit and former pro Daniela Hantuchova suggested that the respect players once had for the British number one is no longer there and that her peers are not afraid to play against her. The former world number five said after Raducanu’s defeat in Miami: “I think it is going to hurt big time because of the chances she had. She was the better player for most of it.
“Siniakova is a great fighter and she showed why she has won all the big titles in doubles – she is not afraid of the big names. But the thing is now with Emma, everyone wants to beat her. Everyone is trying to figure out how to play against her.
“All the locker room respect she had after the US Open is now kind of going away which is a shame. It is going to be important now for Emma to regroup, rethink what she has to change and get out there on the practice court.
“There is no other way around it. Just keep putting the hard work in. I believe Emma has the level. She just has to find a way to get it out of her.” Kyrgios, who will face Jannik Sinner in the last 16 in Miami, launched a savage response in the direction of Hantuchova, also responding to former world No 1 Andy Roddick after coming in for criticism from the American for throwing his racket after losing to Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells earlier this month.
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He said: “What’s with old retired players giving their opinion on our stars now? I love A-Rod [Andy Roddick] and I agree we all need to chill with the rackets and all that, but geezus. I read an article about a past female player talking about Raducanu. No offence, but she is a far, far bigger name already.”
Kyrgios has an impressive 7-2 record in singles this season, and also memorably won the Australian Open men’s doubles title alongside fellow Aussie Thanasi Kokkinakis. The pair have continued their partnership in North America, and are into the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles in Miami.