Tennis Prose



Emma Drops Richardson, Looking For New Coach

US Open champion Emma Raducanu has decided she will need a more experienced WTA Tour level coach to help her navigate her professional career as an 18 year old Grand Slam champion.

Raducanu achieved sudden and shocking fortune in just her second Grand Slam main draw appearance earlier this month when she captured the US Open as a qualifier, she won ten matches without losing a set. It was just her third WTA tour event. Her coach Andrew Richardson will no longer be coaching Raducanu.

‘Where I was at after Wimbledon, I was ranked around 200 in the world and at the time I thought Andrew would be a great coach to trial so we went to the States but never did I even dream of winning the US Open and having the run I did and now I’m ranked 22 in the world, which is pretty crazy to me.’

 ‘I feel like at this stage in my career, and playing the top players in the world, I realized I really need someone right now that has had that WTA Tour experience at the high levels, which means that I’m looking for someone who has been at that level and knows what it takes. And especially right now because I’m so new to it, I really need someone to guide me who’s already been through that.’

Richardson concedes his role guiding Raducanu was not the primary reason for her shocking triumph in New York.

‘I’ve known Emma a long time,’ Richardson said in a Daily Mail article. ‘She has many strengths: some of them you can see, some you can’t see. For me, the biggest strength is the mind. From my point of view, Emma’s great strength is her mentality. I am one of those who believe that everything starts in the head. She showed great strength on this journey, enormous resilience.’ 

‘Her ability to face adversity and to compete is always the hub from which everything starts. I have known her since she was very young and she has always shown it. Emma’s mindset cannot be trained. I think a lot of it’s to do with her upbringing, the core values. She’s always had that, I don’t think it can be coached. It’s about parenting and I think her parents should take a lot of credit.”

Richardson achieved marginal ATP success – a best ATP ranking of 133 in 1997 and six ATP main draw match wins – and he has not coached any player on the WTA Tour.

While it seems unfair for Richardson to be dismissed at such a monumental high point, the decision by Raducanu also makes sense because now she will be targeted for scrutiny by all the WTA players who all will seek to make sure the teenager does not get too big for her britches at their expense.

Raducanu surely realizes she needs the protective reinforcement of a new voice with new ideas, and a strong, experienced coaching presence to shield her from all the “hunters” on her trail.

Available coaches right now who would surely be interested to get a phone call from Emma would be Darren Cahill, Sam Sumyk, Dmitri Tursunov, and Andrei Pavel. Intriguing, outside-the-box coaching options for Emma include: Monica Seles, Martina Navratilova, Mary Pierce, and Marion Bartoli.

But no doubt the leading and most obvious candidate would be Cahill, who just split with Simona Halep.


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