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Emma Raducanu 'looking like Manchester United' after axing three coaches in a year

Daily Express logo Daily Express 20/05/2022 Yasmin Syed
Emma Raducanu has been warned she will start looking like Manchester United to potential coaches © Getty Emma Raducanu has been warned she will start looking like Manchester United to potential coaches

Emma Raducanu's coaching situation has been compared to managing Manchester United after the world No 12's latest partnership came to an end. The US Open champion has quickly become known for axing her mentors after a short amount of time together, and one British coach admitted she was heading towards "looking like the Man Utd job".

Raducanu parted ways with renowned WTA coach Torben Beltz last month just a week after her best result of the season, saying she wanted to "transition to a new training model". It was her third coaching axe in less than a year after the 19-year-old ended her work with Nigel Sears following her run to the second week of Wimbledon as a wildcard, before firing Andrew Richardson - her LTA youth coach who guided her to an unprecedented US Open win.

It has earned the teenager something of a reputation, with talk that her father Ian is often behind the decisions, and Calvin Betton - the coach of several British players on the Challenger and Futures circuits - has now addressed the speculation, warning that Raducanu was starting to look like Man Utd. He told The Telegraph: "There's the perception - accurate or not - that she has a trigger-happy dad. As a prospective signing, you might be thinking 'My reputation could take a hit here.'

"You don't want to be just another person Raducanu has got rid of. And then you reach the point where it almost starts looking like the Manchester United job - an apparently desirable position which people are actually wary of taking on."

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Emma Raducanu fired Torben Beltz last month © Getty Emma Raducanu fired Torben Beltz last month

The British coach also questioned what success would look like with Raducanu, who is in the midst of her first full season on tour as a pro. Currently sitting one below her career-high spot of No 11 in the world, the majority of her points come from her US Open title win, as well as her round-of-16 appearance at last year's Wimbledon.

It means the Bromley local has just one more month of being able to add points to her ranking, before they will start dropping off unless she can produce the same unprecedented results as she did last season, and Betton questioned how a coach would determine a successful partnership with Raducanu practically set up to lose her ranking this summer.

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Emma Raducanu is currently working with the LTA's Iain Bates © Getty Emma Raducanu is currently working with the LTA's Iain Bates

"On the face of things, working with Emma might look like a plum job," he admitted. "But it's worth asking, 'What would success look like?' You could get her playing better and she would still go down the rankings, unless lightning strikes twice and she wins again in New York."

The world No 12 will make her French Open debut next week, accompanied by Iain Bates, the head of women's tennis at the LTA who has been travelling with Raducanu in the interim following her split with Beltz. But after that it's all change for the 19-year-old, who will be defending ranking points on the pro tour for the very first time at her home Grand Slam tournament.

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