Nick Kyrgios has defended 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu following criticism of her recent form from former WTA tour players.
The world No. 13 has won just two of her seven matches this year and went out of the second round of the Miami Open to Katerina Siniakova last week.
Following the British number one's early exit, former world No. 5 Daniela Hantuchova, who works as a pundit for Amazon Prime, said: "All the locker room respect she had after the US Open is now kind of going away, which is a shame."
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Four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters was also critical of Raducanu following her Miami exit.
The Belgian former world No. 1 said: "We’ve seen others that kind of take a step back and say, `Oh, I’ve won a Slam now, I’ve made it.
"'There’s sponsors coming in and I get treated like a princess wherever I go.'
"Just because you’re the No. 1 player and have won Slams, doesn’t mean you should treat other people differently."
Kyrgios has leapt to the defence of the 19-year-old following perceived digs aimed towards her.
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He also responded to former ATP Tour star Andy Roddick after the American made fun of the spate of recent racquet-smashing controversies in men's tennis by posting a light-hearted video on social media demonstrating how it should be done safely.
The 26-year-old tweeted on Sunday: "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."
Raducanu herself recently responded to critics who believe she is not fully focused on her tennis.
She said: "Maybe you just see, on the news or on social media, me signing this or that deal and I feel like it’s quite misleading because I’m doing five, six hours a day (of training), I’m at the club for 12 hours a day.
"But I throw out one post in the car on the way to practice and all of a sudden it’s ‘I don’t focus on tennis’.
"I think that it is unfair but it’s something I have learned to deal with and become a bit more insensitive to the outside noise."
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