18-year-old Emma Raducanu was just another tennis player until the first half of the year. Despite turning pro in 2018, she had been mostly active in the ITF circuit. The teenager made her WTA main draw debut at the Nottingham Open in June this year, and in two short months, shot to stardom.
Her next appearance was at Wimbledon, her first grand slam event. She advanced till the fourth round, before taking a mid-match retirement due to breathing difficulties. Then, still relatively unknown, she played in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classics and reached the final of the Chicago 125 event. Stardom came when the then 150 ranked teenager entered the US Open and went on to win the tournament without dropping a set. To win a grand slam as your maiden WTA title, that too at the age of 18; a marvelous feat!
However, one problem has constantly plagued her performance: the lack of a full-time coach.
Emma Raducanu: Coaching woes
Following her first-round exit from the Silicon Valley Classics, Emma Raducanu switched coaches from Nigel Sears to Andrew Richardson (her youth coach). Sears is the father-in-law of former world no. 1 and fellow Brit, Andy Murray. Richardson guided her to the US Open victory, but after that, they parted ways as well. Since then, Raducanu has had no luck finding a full-time coach.
After US Open, Raducanu played at the Indian Wells. Here, former British no. 1 player Jeremy Bates aided her throughout the tournament. Her next appearance was at the Transylvania Open where she lost in the quarterfinals. Prior to the tournament, she had a trial run with coach Esteban Carril. This trial was not fruitful either, with Carril looking to join Andy Murray’s entourage in Stockholm.
Many tennis experts, including Boris Becker, have to attribute Emma’s current performance to the lack of a full-time coach.
Emma Raducanu: “Feeling positive about coaching situation”
Raducanu is set to play at the Linz Open in Austria. She is the first seed and will face qualifier Wang Xinyu of China in the first round.
In an interview for the tournament, Raducanu elaborated on her coaching situation: “I’m really feeling positive about my coaching situation. I had some trials and they went well and I’m gonna have someone in place – and I’m really excited to get some good work done in pre-season. It’s in a good place. I’ll have a coach in place in the Australian Open.”
While she gave no exact information on her future coaching arrangements calling it confidential, the soon-to-be 19 year-old said “I’m being my own coach again this week, which I think is really good for me long term…..I feel like where I am now, I just need to really take it all in and enjoy, because looking back at how far I have come, it is pretty surreal.”