Emma Raducanu has shown ‘ruthless streak’ says commentator
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Emma Raducanu has issued a public appeal for a top coach to join her team after losing her first match since her US Open triumph to the world No 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The British No 1 became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam without even dropping a set. But the teenager’s fearless hitting at Flushing Meadows was followed by a catalogue of errors in the Californian desert as she went down 6-2, 6-4 to Sasnovich at the BNP Paribas Open.
It is hardly a crisis for the new tennis superstar who shot to worldwide fame last month. Yet the decision to split with Andrew Richardson, who guided her to victory in New York, now seems bizarre before appointing a new coach.
The LTA’s Jeremy Bates worked with Raducanu in Indian Wells this week but the search for a new coach – and proven winner with WTA Tour experience – has added urgency.
The world No 22 said: “I think that I would love to have someone with great experience right now by my side so if any experienced coaches are out there looking, you know where to find me.
“Jeremy Bates is here just to help me out with this week but he was here with Katie Boulter. So I don’t know what’s going on.
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“I don’t know what’s going to happen next but I’m sure that my team and everyone will be able to try and find a solution and yeah, I wasn’t joking. If anyone knows any experienced coaches…”
Proven winners like Darren Cahill, Darren Cahill, Sven Groeneveld, Thomas Hogstedt would fit the job description. But Raducanu, who is guided by her father Ian and her IMG management team, also parted company with Nigel Sears after reaching the Wimbledon fourth round.
Former world No 1 Lindsay Davenport said: “Nigel Sears has a lot of experience. That ended after Wimbledon. Then Andrew Richardson who is a former player.
“The important thing is to get it right next time. You don’t want to be on a continually rotating carousel. So I think all of that will be figured out in the next three to four months and certainly hopefully before she starts the 2022 campaign.”
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Raducanu played down the absence of Richardson and physio Will Herbert from her team as she lost in 85 minutes to the tricky Belarussian on a blustery evening on the slow Stadium 1 court.
“I think that Will and Andrew they definitely played a huge part in New York but I don’t think it affected me because I didn’t really look up at the box too often,” she said. “And I think that what happened tonight was just down to experience and own tennis at the end of the day.”
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Raducanu won 10 consecutive matches in New York but she has yet to win a set in a regular WTA event. And the 18-year-old will have to get used to playing with a big target on her back every time she works out on court as a Major champion.
“I think maybe they want to beat me but every single player out there wants to beat everyone that they’re facing,” the Briton said.
“I am still learning. It’s my third tournament this year on the WTA tour. And I’ve got a very long future ahead of me. Potentially like 15 years, 20 years in the game, so who knows what happens.
“My priority is just that longevity and I still think I’m at the very start. So I just need to cut myself slack. I’m in a good place mentally. I’m looking at the big picture. This is going to be very small in the long term.
“Yeah, I’m kind of glad that what happened today happened so I can learn and take it as a lesson. Going forward, I’ll just have more experience banked.”
Raducanu is scheduled to play in Russia, Romania and Austria in the next month but will make a call about going to the Kremlin Cup for October 18.
“It is tough to tell right now – all the emotions are still running high,” she said. “So I’d like to make that decision with a clear head in the next few days.”
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