“Its like Manchester United” Top British coach hits out at Emma Raducanu’s father for involvement in making repeated head coach changes

With Emma Raducanu having changed three coaches since the 2021 Wimbledon, her father Ian gets criticised by top British coach for constant changing of coaches.

Emma Raducanu and her father Ian
Emma Raducanu and her father Ian

World No. 12 Emma Raducanu is well settled into her spot in the Top-15 as she continues to enjoy her time where as of now, she need not worry about dropping points despite making early exits. The worrying will start for Emma after this year’s Wimbledon as she had made the 4th round last year and then went on to win the 2021 US Open surprising everyone.

The ranking has not been Emma’s issue so far but the other thing that has kept her troubled is no permanent head coach and constant injuries over the season. Since last year’s Wimbledon when a great part of the tennis community came to know about the Brit’s name, she has gone on to change three coaches already having worked with Nigel Sears in Wimbledon, Andrew Richardson in US Open and Torben Beltz till last month with the German coach having the longest stint out of the three.

Emma’s father Ian Raducanu has also been criticised for his involvement in the back-room management of his daughter and his important say in chopping and changing Emma’s coach. With the 2022 French Open set to begin in two days’ time, the British youngster will be without a permanent head coach heading to Paris where she will make her debut at the Roland Garros.

“On the face of things, working with Emma might look like a plum job. But it’s worth asking, ‘What would success look like?’ You could get her playing better and she would still go down the rankings unless lightning strikes twice and she wins again in New York. Then there’s the perception – accurate or not – that she has a trigger-happy dad. As a prospective signing, you might be thinking ‘My reputation could take a hit here.’ You don’t want to be just another person Raducanu has got rid of.

“And then you reach the point where it almost starts looking like the Manchester United job – an apparently desirable position which people are actually wary of taking on. Emma is clearly an incredibly smart young woman but does that mean that she doesn’t need a conventional coach? That’s like saying ‘My kid has a remarkable intellect, she doesn’t need to go to school, because she is much smarter than the teachers’. Perhaps she is. But she is also still a kid,” said Calvin Betton, a top British coach overseeing a lot of young players.

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Calin Betton points out the importance of a full-time coach to Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu

Betton expressed his views with the Telegraph UK and pointed out that even if Emma is the smartest player on the Tour, she still needs guidance because a coach does a lot more than just improve the technicality. Emma is currently under the watchful eyes of Louis Cayer, the LTA doubles coach who Betton describes as the ‘probably the best technical coach in the world’.

“The truth is that only 15 per cent of coaching is about the mechanics of strokeplay. There’s a lot of quiet guidance and support and mentoring that goes into the job. Sometimes it’s about coaxing stuff out from your player at dinner after a match. You’re asking questions like ‘What could you have done better on that point?’ Or ‘What other options did you have in that moment?’ Or ‘If that was a 10 out of 10, what would an 11 look like?’” added Betton.

Also Read: Emma Raducanu’s French Open road to Final: A possible Naomi Osaka clash awaits in her path to second grand slam title

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