Emma Raducanu parted ways with Andrew Richardson a little over two weeks after securing a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Canadian Leylah Fernandez at the US Open. Sports commentator Rupert Bell praised the 18-year-old for the “ruthless streak” shown as he suggested the sacking of Richardson is a sign the British tennis champion is already focussing on the future. Speaking to GB News, Mr Bell said: “Bear in mind, this time last year she was was playing on low-level grade events but now she’s in the tennis big time.
“She needs someone who can manage that. I’m sure she’s got lots of advisors but it does show that she’s clearly got her own mind, she knows what she wants to achieve.
“It’s tough on Andrew Richardson, I’m sure he’ll be at the end of the phone if she needs advice but ultimately, it shows she’s got a ruthless streak in her.
“And, hopefully, it’s the right call. Maybe she’ll be searching around to find somebody to take her to the next stage.”
Raducanu had made similar changes after being forced to pull out from Wimbledon earlier in the summer after suffering breathing difficulties on the court.
Mr Bell continued: “This is why I think she’s different.
“Nigel Sears was guiding her through Wimbledon, then he went. Now Andrew Richardson – vastly experienced, a decent player on his own right, and a much-respected coach – he did a brilliant job handling her through the American build-up to the US Open and guiding her through that success.
“But it does show she’s clary thinking about where she needs to go.
“And perhaps she wants a coach who’s more regularly used to being on the WTA Tour.”
Billed as a warm-up session it quickly became competitive, but the duchess – patron of the Lawn Tennis Association – held her own with the tennis champs.
Raducanu was later asked if she had more nerves playing Kate or her US Open finals opponent Leylah Fernandez, and replied: “I was actually very nervous playing the duchess – I was like, ‘Don’t miss, don’t miss’.”
During the event, Raducanu announced she had split from her coach Andrew Richardson following her US Open triumph and is seeking an experienced mentor to help guide her through her next steps on tour.
She said: “I feel like at this stage in my career, and playing the top players in the world, I realised 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.”
Published at Sat, 25 Sep 2021 10:09:15 +0000