Emma Raducanu has split from coach Andrew Richardson following her US Open triumph and is seeking an experienced mentor to help guide her through her next steps on tour.
Richardson took over as Raducanu’s coach after he memorable Wimbledon run earlier this summer.
He previously coached the 18-year-old at Bromley Tennis Centre and was chosen to accompany Raducanu, who has also been coached by Andy Murray’s father-in-law Nigel Sears, on her US trip because of their familiarity with one another.
Neither could have imagined where the partnership would lead and, despite the remarkable success it brought, Raducanu has decided she needs a coach with a WTA Tour pedigree.
Emma Raducanu has split from coach Andrew Richardson following her US Open triumph
Neither could have imagined where the partnership would lead to a US Open victory
Richardson (second from right) chosen to accompany Raducanu (centre) on her US trip because of their familiarity with one another
Speaking after a homecoming event held by the Lawn Tennis Association at the National Tennis Centre, the teenager said: ‘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.’
Raducanu continued: ‘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.
‘And especially right now because I’m so new to it, I really need someone to guide me who’s already been through that.’
Raducanu added that she does not yet have anyone in mind – although she is likely to have noted the news that renowned coach Darren Cahill is now a free agent after his split from Simona Halep with interest – and she does not expect to make any decision until the end of the season.
The news comes as the new British No 1 was spotted talking and playing with the Duchess of Cambridge during the former’s homecoming event
Raducanu returned to the UK to her hometown of Bromley last week before attending event
The LTA has put together a special event to mark the achievements of Raducanu at Flushing Meadows
A willingness to work with a number of different coaches has already been a notable feature of Raducanu’s fledgling career and she has shown no hesitation in ending a partnership if she feels that is the right move, quickly parting from Nigel Sears – Andy Murray’s father in law – after Wimbledon.
On her conversation with Richardson, she said: ‘Obviously having such an experience with your team, it’s tough to have that conversation with anyone, but I think for me it’s just really what I need.’
Raducanu – the first ever qualifier to win a major after beating Leylah Fernandez in the final at Flushing Meadows – is now back in training and is mulling over where to return to the tour, with the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, one of the biggest events on the WTA Tour, due to begin on October 6.
She said: ‘I’ll decide in the next few days where I’m going to go to but, wherever I play next, I’m going to make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to jump into things too early.’
Raducanu is likely to have noted the news that Darren Cahill (L) is now a free agent after his split from Simona Halep (R)
The news comes as the new British No 1 – who moved up from No 150 to No 23 in the latest world rankings – was spotted talking and playing with the Duchess of Cambridge during the former’s homecoming event.
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has put together the special soirée to mark the achievements of Raducanu and three other British players who tasted success in Flushing Meadows earlier this month: Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett and Joe Salisbury.
Afterwards, during an online BBC show, Raducanu was asked if she had more nerves playing Kate Middleton or her US Open final opponent Fernandez, and replied: ‘I was actually very nervous playing the Duchess – I was like: ”Don’t miss, don’t miss”.’
Earlier, beside the court, the 18-year-old said: ‘Her [Kate’s] forehand was incredible. I was very impressed. It was a lot of fun to play tennis with the duchess.’
Before the group attending the LTA Youth programme at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton had a knock about, the Duchess of Cambridge said: ‘Amazing guys, honestly, congratulations to all of you – it’s seriously impressive. It’s so nice to see all of you back here in your home countries to celebrate.’
Raducanu appeared to be taking the game seriously as she played in Roehampton
Raducanu quickly parted from Nigel Sears – Andy Murray’s father in law – after Wimbledon
Raducanu returned to the UK to her hometown of Bromley last week and was seen at a London Fashion Week event on Monday night.
The British No 1 is now expected to make her return to the court on October 4 after pulling out of next week’s Chicago Fall Tennis Classic event.
The new British tennis sensation is also down as an entrant for the Kremlin Cup next month, but will do so without Richardson – whom Raducanu describes as ‘a very calming character’ after winning in New York – by her side.
Richardson – as a player – represented GB in the Davis Cup and was successful on the doubles circuit in the 1990s – winning five titles on the ATP Challenger Tour.
Known as ‘Flex’ for his enormous frame, Richardson then went into coaching, and after mentoring a few British stars, taught a young Raducanu the fundamentals in tennis in Bromley.
Richardson – very close friends with his ex-doubles partner Tim Henman – was therefore similarly elated after Raducanu’s US Open win, but insisted that no discussions had taken place about the coming months. ‘No conversations, just enjoy,’ said Richardson.
‘Obviously, this is a moment that doesn’t happen very often. So I’m going to enjoy it and I think she should as well. I’m sure when we get back to England we will see what the plans are.’
But he said earlier this month that Raducanu’s mental strength and ability to rise to occasion were the best weapons in her arsenal.
‘I’ve known Emma a long time,’ he explained. ‘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 said Raducanu’s mental strength was her best weapon in her arsenal
But he also offered her words of advice not to get caught up in the craze around her
‘People have to remember that while she played 10 matches in New York, she came into qualifying having played five matches in Chicago in tough conditions and six matches in Landisville (Pennsylvania).
‘So she played 11 matches in about 14 days coming into here. The mental strength that she has is truly special. She has the ability to deal with adversity and compete, and then she has the technical strengths to go with it.’
But he also offered her words of advice not to get caught up in the craze around her that she has sparked by winning the US Open.
‘Although she’s obviously aware of what she’s done, she’s been in this bubble with the team,’ added Richardson. ‘So she’s been able to focus on tennis and not get caught up in some of the things back home.
‘Her life has changed again, and moving forward the people that she has around her are going to be really important. She’s got great parents. She’s going to have to be looked after and have a strong team around to protect her.’