Emma Raducanu has opened up about the “tough” decision she made to part ways with her coach Torben Beltz, as she prepares to take on the Madrid Open.
After just five months working together, the US Open champion is looking for her fourth coach in less than a year, but she insists the pair parted on good terms.
“Torben is a great guy. I really enjoyed my time with him on and off the court. He is one of the nicest people I've met so obviously it was a tough one to split with someone like that' she said.
WTA Madrid
Jabeur makes history as she defeats Pegula in the final of the Madrid Open
07/05/2022 AT 18:04
Raducanu was keen to work with someone who understood the pressures of tour life, and having helped Angelique Kerber to Grand Slam success at the Australian Open and US Open, the 19-year-old thinks Beltz fulfilled her requirements.
“I think Torben has been great for me because when I wanted someone with tour experience, I think for my first six months on the tour, it was very valuable”, she said.
Now, Raducanu - who picked up the 2022 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award - has confidence in her training and how she’s working, without the need for Beltz, saying, “'I feel like over the last few weeks, it's definitely become more apparent, and especially as I've spent more time on the tour playing more matches against these top opponents, that I kind of understand what I feel like I need more of.”
The LTA's head of women's coaching Iain Bates is working with the Brit in Madrid, where Tereza Martincova awaits in the first round. Raducanu will arrive at the game in a buoyant mood having beaten her Czech opponent in their recent Billie Jean King Cup tie.
Although she may know the way to beat Martincova, Raducanu admits she still needs to work hard to match up to the world’s best players. Her first clay court tournament was ended by world number one Iga Swiatek at the Stuttgart Open.
“I think going forward I'll probably be putting a lot more emphasis on sparring. It is becoming more apparent to me as I spend more time on the tour is just getting used to these girls' ball speed. I felt like in my quarter-final match (versus Swiatek), I was just trying to get used to the ball speed in the first few games and had a bit of a slow start because of that”, she said.
“I like to mix it up. I like to work very specifically and I'm very clear on what I want to work on. A lot of the time those ideas come from myself.”
I really don't care how many times I'm losing in the first round.
Having been under pressure to achieve continued success ever since bursting onto the professional scene in such scintillating fashion, Raducanu says she is comfortable with being knocked out of tournaments, as long as it aids her progression.
“To me it doesn't mean anything right now because I'm actually enjoying the journey of picking myself back up and working through things”, she said.
Raducanu admits she’s getting used to the relentless nature of life on tour, saying “I feel like you don't have time to dwell over anything. If you have a bad match, you just go straight into the next one because if you're dwelling or mourning for two days after the match, then you've got three days to prepare for the next one so it's not ideal, but I think is good and beneficial because it just snaps you out of it right there and then.”
WTA Madrid
Jabeur to face Pegula after becoming first African player to reach WTA 1000 final in Madrid
05/05/2022 AT 16:43
WTA Madrid
‘I was struggling’ – Raducanu reveals back problems in Madrid Open exit, confident ahead of Rome
04/05/2022 AT 08:34