EXCLUSIVE: Emma Raducanu gets coaching offer from Serena Williams’s childhood coach Rick Macci days after she said “I wish I’d never won the US Open”
In an exclusive interview with FirstSportz, Rick Macci cites the example of Jennifer Capriati and backed Emma Raducanu to script an excellent comeback and win Grand Slam titles in the future.
L-Rick Macci, R- Emma Raducanu (Images via Julian Finney/Getty Images/YouTube)
In an exclusive interview with FirstSportz, Rick Macci, who coached tennis greats like Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, and Maria Sharapova, revealed that he approached Emma Raducanu to offer his help. He believes that winning a Grand Slam at such a young means Raducanu is unique and talented and can taste more success in spite of her recent injury blows.
Raducanu burst into the scene when she lifted the US Open trophy in 2021 as a qualifier without dropping a set. But unfortunately, she couldn’t live up to the expectations of the fans due to injuries. This season, she has a win-loss record of 5-5 and was last seen playing competitive tennis at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, losing to Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets.
“I actually reached out to her agent because I feel that I could help her not only strategically, but mentally, whatever is going on. So we’ll see how that plays out by the end of the year. But I think anybody who goes through qualifying and wins a Grand Slam, you’re a very unique, talented individual, not just with your game, technically or strategically, but mentally, okay. You got to have something different mentally, that’s greatness there,” Macci said.
Since that lone Grand Slam in 2021, she also changed her coaches and recently parted ways with Sebastian Sachs. Before Sachs, the 20-year-old worked with the likes of Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson, Torben Beltz, and Dmitry Tursunov. The Brit underwent surgeries on her hands and ankle and missed the French Open as well as would miss the forthcoming Wimbledon Championships.
Macci then asserted that though Raducanu climbed to the top out of nowhere and became the cynosure of all eyes, she still was a tennis player and it wasn’t over yet. He stated that he would have talked to her, her parents, and her agent about how she is handling that success.
“Now, in the blink of an eye, you go from that to having all these opportunities and millions of dollars and everybody treats you differently. Everything around you has changed but you’re still a competitor and there’s a tennis ball and a racket, and a net and it’s all about the competition. So I don’t know her, I don’t know what’s in her head, how she’s handling all that so I’d have to talk to her, her parents, and her agent on that,” he added.
Rick Macci believes Emma Raducanu can have a brilliant comeback like Jennifer Capriati
Rick Macci emphasized the struggles a player has to go through after frequent injury trouble and the incessant attention the media gives because of an incredible achievement as well as the quick downfall. The 68-year-old renowned coach believes the young sensation can have a brilliant comeback, just like his former student Jennifer Capriati.
“But also, now you throw now the injuries, so that can make you a little more tentative, it affects movement, it affects confidence, you don’t play as much, so now you got all that. And the last thing is the media wanting to beat up on her simply because she did what she did, she went from rags to riches, and everything changed, so she’s a target. A lot of the time you can be sensitive and I’d like to relate it to one of my all-time favorite students I ever had was Jennifer Capriati,” Macci said.
Macci highlighted the downfall of Jennifer Capriati and how after scripting an incredible comeback, she leapfrogged to the top position in the rankings as well as clinched three Grand Slam titles. He recalled how he believed in her abilities and also backed her to return much stronger.
“She was the most dominant junior player ever. Won the national 18s as a 12-year-old, top ten in the world on the Pro Tour as a 14-year-old. Everybody knows she went off the Tour. You don’t lose the talent, you lose maybe the fitness. But you don’t lose the ability.”
“But she came back, and no one thought she could come back, except her father, her mother, and Rick Macci. Not only did she come back, she came not to 50, not to 20, not the ten. She came back to number 1. Won three Grand Slams, an Olympic Gold medal, and a big contract with Fila. So, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” he said.
Capriati became the Australian Open champion twice (2001, 2002), and lifted the French Open in 2001. Before that, she became the Olympic gold medalist in 1992 as well. She was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2001, owing to her comeback to tennis, she was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award for Comeback of the Year and won the Laureus World Sports Awards for Sportswoman of the Year in 2002.
Rick Macci backs Emma Raducanu to win more Grand Slam titles in future
Macci believes it’s too soon to write off Raducanu because she is extremely talented and has so much in her tank to become one of the best players in the world. And that is why he would love to work with the 2021 US Open winner and see what’s going on with her, what she is thinking, and how she is dealing with everything around her.
“I think Emma Raducanu can come back, I’d love to get involved in that project, I know I could help big time. I think she can come back and be one of the best players in the world and she definitely in my opinion has the game to win Grand Slams again. But I need to take the temperature first to see what’s going on,” he added.
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