I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t heard of Emma Raducanu before Wimbledon.
I’m sure that’s the same for many others.
However, watching her progress at SW19 was thrilling and I think she conducted herself superbly until the very end.
The negativity she has received from some people regarding how she handled ‘the pressure’ is absolute nonsense. She is 18 years of age and you could see that she was unwell.
Think this is a very harsh take on the situation Piers https://t.co/rGuWC5ScDT
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) July 6, 2021
We often see the worst of social media and opinions from people who don’t understand top-level sport. These are people who will say anything to have a little dig.
I’m thinking of people like Piers Morgan. I saw his comments and just thought: ‘You haven’t played a minute of competitive sport in your life. What right do you have to criticise an 18-year-old girl who just played the tournament of her career?’
However, the flip-side of that is people like Andy Murray, Marcus Rashford and Gareth Southgate showing their support. These individuals do know what they are talking about. They have reached the top of their sports and can speak from experience.
I loved watching them all fight her corner. Those are the people she should listen to. Block out all of that other negativity, as hard as that can sometimes be.
Thanks so much for the kind words, this message means a lot to me. I’ll keep building and be back stronger! 🏴 https://t.co/R3CGl0AG4U
— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) July 6, 2021
When you receive that support from experienced sportspeople who have navigated those highs and lows, that is proof that social media — and sport — can be a real force for positivity too.
Emma can take so much pride from this performance at Wimbledon and I believe she can be the next Serena Williams; the next superstar. Why not?
It must be so daunting to step on to Centre Court but this set-back will only make her stronger. I’ve lost a lot more games than I have won, and every one of those defeats gives you something to learn from.
She’ll grow from the challenges, but she should also learn from her successes — those fantastic victories — and know that the sky is the limit.
It’s hard not to root for ‘gentleman’ Harry Kane in the Euro 2020 final
I was lucky enough to meet Harry Kane when I was working for TV at the Open Championships two years ago and he was a very genuine gentleman, which was really nice to see.
When you do meet someone one like that and they make such a positive impression, it’s hard not to support them afterwards.
That’s a theme with this England team. They seem like a really positive group, and they have fostered a tremendous togetherness. You can see they are having fun together and that’s what creates the best teams.
My mum is English, a lot of her family are down south and we have a lot of English connections ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy. So, there is always an element of fun rivalry when we watch the England team.
But you can’t take away from what England have achieved or grudge them the excitement which comes from a first final since 1966. They were on the front-foot for the majority of the semi-final against Denmark and merited the victory.
It will take a very good Italian team to stop them from taking that Championship, but I do think it’s guaranteed to be a fantastic final.