Johanna Konta has defended Emma Raducanu after the US Open champion was criticised for saying her detractors were 'a joke.'
Raducanu suffered a second round exit at Wimbledon to Caroline Garcia, which represented a disappointment for many given she reached the fourth round as an unknown last season.
She hit back at her critics afterwards, though, taking issue with a question about her ability to handle the pressure of defending her US Open title.
"Why is there any pressure?" Raducanu asked. "I’m still 19. Like, it’s a joke. I literally won a slam.
“Yes, I have had attention. But I’m a slam champion, so no one’s going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven’t done that."
Jo Konta was a former British number one herself, although she never reached the heights Emma Raducanu has.
And, according to Konta, Raducanu has 'every right' to bite back at her critics.
"Obviously Emma is going to continue to be working to improve physically and improve her tennis,” Konta told the Express.
“So that's going to take time and I think we all know that."
"She definitely presents modern maturity in her knowledge about herself and what she wants to do and the direction she wants to go.
"What she said is a fact, she is a Grand Slam champion and she's 19 years old so they're literally just facts that she said.
"She has every right to say these facts. In terms of pressure, again pressure is very much absorbed and dealt with individually.
"I think it's great if she's able to digest the situation in this way and see it in a way that it's just a part of the job and actually not a big deal.
"Caroline Garcia played a great match, she just was the better player on that day.”
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