Published: 06:45, 06 July 2021
| Updated: 07:50, 06 July 2021
Emma Raducanu’s magnificent Wimbledon run ended in retirement - but this is just the start for the teenager.
Raducanu, 18, was 6-4 3-0 down when she pulled out of her fourth-round match with Alja Tomljanovic, suffering breathing difficulties.
The Bromley girl left Court 1 for a medical time-out and the umpire announced minutes later she was unable to continue.
Raducanu, whose match was watched by millions on TV, has shot to fame with her debut run at SW19.
And Annabel Croft, the former British No.1, is convinced she is a star in the making. “Definitely,” she told the BBC.
“We’ve seen so much from her during the course of her three matches here at Wimbledon.
“What we’ve seen is a very complete player who is only going to get better and has plenty of room for improvement, but someone who’s got a very compact technique, beautiful swings off both wings.
“She’s got a beautiful service motion and an excellent second serve, it’s not really an attackable second serve, it’s got good depth on it, and a very determined strong head on her shoulders.
“She’s a real competitor, we’ve seen her fighting qualities.
"In the first round she played a set that was an hour and 20 minutes and came through it.
“And someone who’s very joyful. She brings a real spirit out on to the court.
“It’s painful to see her go out like that but it’s been a great launchpad and she can only learn from this experience.
“There’s going to be so much attention on her shoulders now.
“She’s announced herself on the biggest stages here at Wimbledon.”
Wimbledon legend Martina Navratilova’s advice to Raducanu was “learn to say no” and Croft believes the youngster will take all the attention in her stride.
“I think she will cope with it very well,” said Croft.
“It’s about not reading anything, it’s not looking at too much on your phone.
“I hear Rafa Nadal talk about it time and time again when he refers to youngsters coming through.
“He always says it’s about the team around her, keeping her feet on the ground and just working every day, as she has since she was a little girl, to try to be a better tennis player.
"I think she’s extremely intelligent, we’ve seen that from her.”