Emma Raducanu’s coach carousel and why it may pay to do’some pretty wild things’
Emma Raducanu, who was taking A-levels at last year’s French Open, is now 12th in the world rankings and a US Open champion. She prepares for her Roland Garros debut.
Raducanu, like many 19-year olds on tour in the first year of their tour, has struggled to find wins and fitness since New York’s fairytale.
Raducanu, however, is not like most coaches in this position and has been able attract lucrative contracts to eight global brands.
Understandably, she has struggled to cope with her public image and has become less socially connected to others on tour. Although it might seem beneficial to build a long-term relationship, this is not the Raducanu method.
One person who knows the family says, “I think they need somebody who can challenge her tennis intelligence, and there are very few people that can do that.”
A carousel full of coaches
After Raducanu’s win at Wimbledon, Nigel Sears was forced to leave the scene. Andrew Richardson was offered a contract through the US Open. This was not extended despite his incredible victory in September.
Torben Beltz was named in November but he had already left by April, having managed just 10 WTA matches.
Iain Bates (head of women’s tennis at the LTA) traveled with Raducanu to Madrid this month. However, most of the technical work done by Louis Cayer, the LTA senior performance advisor, over the past six week has been performed by him.
Cayer is best known for his work as a doubles player with Joe Salisbury, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski. He has also been credited with recent improvements in Raducanu’s technique. Cayer’s video analysis and forensic approach are enjoyed by both Emma and Ian, according to reports.
Raducanu will be joined by her new hitting partner. This is perhaps the most important appointment of the year. Raymond Sarmiento will be practicing with her this week at the National Tennis Centre, London. He will also be joining the team at Roland Garros for the foreseeable future, provided everything goes according to plan.
Raducanu, a 29-year-old American, was Raducanu’s hitting partner at Indian Wells last Oct.
Coaching with the Raducanu method
One insider said recently, “You can’t continue going left and right.” The constant fear is that coaches won’t be attracted to the short-term nature, if any, of any role with Raducanu.
However, another person may not see it that way.
They said that coaches “drain the resources and knowledge very quickly, and then they obviously want to get the next one.”
“When people do something differently, the entire world looks at it and thinks it is strange, because nobody has ever done it that way before.
“But I’m not so sceptical because too many people have done some pretty wild things and they turn out be goldmines.”
Another observer, who is familiar with the Raducanu coaching approach, sums it up well.
They said, “If a coach doesn’t work, it’s just going be done.”
The dad who divides opinions
One tennis insider said that Ian Raducanu has a “constant thirst” for information, but is “obsessed” with peripheral details by another.
When asked to describe him best, he replied that he was “demanding, analytical and opinionated” among other adjectives.
In the past, he has been extremely harsh on his daughter. Some people refer to emotional blackmail and Emma’s tears or Ian’s silence.
Naomi Broady, British tennis player, is proud of her strong parental involvement. Her father Simon was the dominant figure in her life and did not speak to Liam for three consecutive years.
She said, “Emma wanted to play doubles with me over the grass last year.”
The road ahead
At 18, a Grand Slam title and a World Ranking of 12 at 19 open a lot doors. But the expectation and profile that comes with it are difficult to bear.
Eight blue-chip companies sign deals that take overdraft fees out, but bring with them an expectation of performance as well as a substantial number of corporate days.
I noticed that the US Open champion was particularly preoccupied in the first months of this year. This is based on my personal experience and others’ testimony that she didn’t always respond to messages and seemed less responsive to people who made an effort to make her feel comfortable.