Emma Raducanu in ‘very good position’ in search for new full-time coach

Raducanu is the top seed for this week’s Upper Austria Ladies Linz tournament.

Eleanor Crooks
Sunday 07 November 2021 16:33
Emma Raducanu is making progress in her search for a new coach (PA)
Emma Raducanu is making progress in her search for a new coach (PA)

Emma Raducanu is in a “very good position” in her search for a full-time coach but it will not be Esteban Carril, who is set to join Andy Murray’s team.

Raducanu had a trial with the highly-regarded Spaniard last month and he had appeared the front-runner for the position.

Carril helped develop Johanna Konta into a top-10 player and has most recently been working with another British player, Katie Swan who revealed on Sunday after winning a lower-tier title in Estonia that it would be their final tournament together.

Swan is managed by Murray’s 77 agency and Carril will now head to the Stockholm Open for a trial week, with a view to joining the Scot’s team moving forward.

Raducanu, meanwhile, is preparing for her final tournament of the season, the Upper Austria Ladies Linz where she is the top seed.

She arrived in Austria on Saturday accompanied only by her mother Renee and agent Chris Helliar, but it appears she, too, has made significant progress in appointing a successor to Andrew Richardson.

The 18-year-old said: “I’m here on my own, I’m being my own coach again this week, which I think is really good for me long term. I’m really feeling positive about my coaching situation, it’s in a good place. I’ll have a coach in place at the Australian Open.

“I had some trials and they went well. I’m really excited to get some good work done in pre-season and we’re going to have a really good time for sure. I think my game’s going to be moving in the right direction so I’m pretty excited for that.”

Raducanu declined to reveal more information on the identity of her preferred candidate, saying cryptically when pushed: “I’m in a very good position. It’s just a bit confidential. It’s my decision. It’s not fully done.”

Raducanu cited LTA physio Will Herbert as a key presence in her team in New York, and he was also with her in Cluj-Napoca last week, but the teenager said she had not yet thought about potentially having a full-time physio or fitness trainer.

“I don’t have a full-time team at all,” she said. “I think a coach for me is the priority. It’s so new to me to be in this position where I potentially could. I think it’s a great privilege but I haven’t put anything in place at all.”

Emma’s mother Renee is with her in Linz, where she again will be without a coach (Adam Davy/PA)

Raducanu won her first two WTA Tour matches in Romania before a heavy loss to Marta Kostyuk in the quarter-finals.

The Kent player cited fatigue as a factor in the result, which she revealed turned into illness, preventing her visiting her Romanian grandmother in Bucharest after the tournament, as she had planned.

Raducanu returned to training on Thursday, and she said: “I had five negative PCR results so it’s not Covid. I’ve been feeling the ball well here and I’m in as good a place as I can be and just looking forward really, really positive for this week.”

This tournament is another example of Raducanu’s new-found status as one of the biggest names in tennis.

Organisers are hugely excited to have the British number one here, with some fans waiting outside the players’ hotel on Friday hoping for a glimpse of Raducanu despite her not arriving until Saturday.

It is all a far cry from the start of the year when, with the UK in lockdown, Raducanu was just another A Level student having to cope with home learning.

“January, February, March, I didn’t pick up a tennis racket really,” she said. “March 18 was my first session on court in 2021.

“For January, February, March, I was literally just sat at my desk staring at a wall for nine hours a day so I feel like, where I am now, I just need to really take it all in and enjoy it because, looking back at how far I’ve come, it’s pretty surreal and I just really need to enjoy it because at the beginning of the year I never would have thought it was possible.”

Raducanu will play her first match at the TipsArena on Tuesday against either Kateryna Kozlova of the Ukraine or Wang Xinyu of China.

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