Raducanu in no rush to find new full-time coach

·3-min read
Emma Raducanu in action in Stuttgart last week (AFP/THOMAS KIENZLE) (THOMAS KIENZLE)

Emma Raducanu has confirmed she has no immediate plans to hire a full-time coach and will focus her efforts on finding a suitable sparring partner in the wake of her split with German mentor Torben Beltz.

The US Open champion announced on Tuesday she would no longer be working with Beltz, a former coach of three-time major winner Angelique Kerber, and told reporters at the Madrid Open on Wednesday that hiring someone to hit with during practice is a top priority at the moment.

Raducanu said the decision to part ways with Beltz after just five months had been brewing for "the last few weeks" and explained he was the right person to team up with this past period as he helped her adjust to life on tour.

In her statement announcing the split with Beltz, Raducanu said she plans "to transition to a new training model, with the LTA supporting in the interim." She is accompanied by LTA coach Iain Bates in Madrid.

Raducanu has gone through a number of coaches in the past year since she first made her mark in reaching the last 16 at Wimbledon, even before she had received her final school exam results.

She replaced Nigel Sears with Andrew Richardson after Wimbledon, but Richardson's contract was not renewed despite Raducanu's stunning success in New York.

"Going forward I'll probably be putting a lot more emphasis on sparring; I feel like that's definitely something that's becoming more apparent to me as I spend more time on the tour, is just getting used to these girls' ball speed," said Raducanu, who opens her Madrid campaign against Czech Republic's Tereza Martincova on Friday.

"I felt like against Iga (Swiatek), in my quarter-final match in Stuttgart, I was just trying to get used to the ball speed the first few games and had a bit of a slow start because of that.

"So I feel like if I were to get that sort of practice in my daily training then it could benefit me."

- New experiences -

In her first ever tour-level clay tournament last week in Stuttgart, Raducanu reached the quarter-finals before falling to reigning world No.1 Swiatek.

The 19-year-old Briton believes clay is a surface she can perform well on in the future but is giving herself time to find her footing; especially because most of the tournaments she is contesting at the moment are events she has never played before.

Raducanu's shocking US Open victory last September, as a qualifier, catapulted her into stardom so abruptly and while she says it's "exciting" to turn up to new tournaments and exploring new venues and cities, there is a drawback to not being familiar with a particular place or event.

"For me when I'm turning up to these tournaments, I don't know how fast the court is, I don't know the weather, I don't know anything," said Raducanu.

"So I don't find it daunting but it definitely takes adjusting to, which is why I don't think the first time is always going to be very smooth. I've kind of just accepted that and just asking for directions along the way."

She added: "I really don't care how many times I'm losing first rounds; to me it doesn't mean anything right now because I'm actually enjoying the journey of picking myself back up and working through things."


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