Following a disappointing end to her Wimbledon campaign, British tennis star Emma Raducanu defended her controversial decision to pull out of the mixed doubles event with Andy Murray.

The 21-year-old cited a sore wrist as the reason for withdrawing from their scheduled first-round match on Saturday, denying Murray a final appearance at the All England Club.

Raducanu, the former US Open champion, explained that with her fourth-round singles match against qualifier Lulu Sun scheduled for Sunday afternoon, she did not want to take any unnecessary risks.

Despite her best efforts, Raducanu was unable to progress to the quarter-finals, falling to a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 defeat.

Raducanu's decision drew mass criticism, with Judy Murray, the mother of Andy, initially branding the move as "astonishing." However, she later clarified that her comments were made in a sarcastic manner.

Addressing the criticism, Raducanu shrugged it off, saying: "I'm sure she didn't mean it."

The young tennis prodigy remained steadfast in her belief that withdrawing from the mixed doubles event was the right call, prioritising her health and performance in the singles competition.

Read more: 

“I was feeling fine, then yesterday morning just woke up with stiffness," she explained. "I have to prioritise myself, my singles and my body.

“I think it was the right decision. I stand by the decision. Obviously it was a tough decision, though, because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.

“Of course, I didn’t want to take his last match away from him. But, at the end of the day, I think a lot of the players in a similar situation would have done the same thing.

“Going into the tournament, I wasn’t expecting to make fourth round. So, for me, it was a no-brainer (to accept the invitation). He didn’t ask me, ‘If you’re still in the singles, are you going to play?’ Given how I woke up yesterday morning, it was for me a no-brainer.”

Murray was honoured with an emotional farewell ceremony on Centre Court on Thursday, following his defeat in the first round of the men's doubles event alongside his brother Jamie.

Despite the loss, Murray had prepared himself for another outing on the court, and sources suggest he was deeply saddened to miss out on the opportunity.

When asked about Murray's reaction to the news, Raducanu expressed her empathy, stating, "Obviously he was disappointed because it was his last match. But what a champion he is. I hope he'll have the chance to play in the Olympics and receive another fitting farewell there."

Read more: 

Raducanu acknowledged that the circumstances in the build up cast a certain degree of uncertainty over one of the most significant matches of her career, as she sought to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the second time.

“I think with every decision, people are entitled to their opinions,” she said. “Of course, there was a bit of a cloud around the decision.”