Emma Raducanu of Great Britain celebrates after match point against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre September 8, 2021. — Reuters pic
INDIAN WELLS, Oct 6 — British star Emma Raducanu plans to take her time before hiring a new coach as she returns for her first tournament since winning the US Open at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
The 18-year-old, who stunned the tennis world at the US Open after becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title, parted company with coach Andrew Richardson following her victory in New York.
Raducanu will be assisted by former professional Jeremy Bates at the ATP/WTA Indian Wells tournament in the California desert this week, but is still looking for a permanent coach.
Bates, the former British No.1, is the head of women’s tennis at the sport’s British governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association.
“Jeremy is part of women’s tennis at the LTA and while he’s here he can help me out,” Raducanu said Tuesday.
“But going forwards I’m just going to try and find the right person. I’m not going to rush into anything. I want to make sure that I make the right decision.”
Raducanu believes that for the time being, she will more than capable of being her own coach during matches.
“I’m quite confident,” she said. “I know that even though I’m quite young, I’ve got a lot of experience banked. And at the end of the day you’re out there on your own and you have to be your own coach on the court.
‘Someone to push you’
“I’m just looking for the general things in a coach — someone that you get along with well and someone who can push you.”
Raducanu’s life has been transformed since her victory at the US Open, which catapulted the youngster into the public eye as the new darling of British tennis.
However the teenager says she is not letting the fame go to her head, and does not plan to change her approach to tournaments.
“I don’t really want to change anything,” she said Tuesday. “What got me to this point is not thinking anything differently.
“If I just put additional thoughts in my head, then that will just create a problem. I am just going to keep going about my business and staying the same.”
“When I was back at home I still didn’t really go out. I was just at home with my family. I got some cool invitations, kind messages and kind words. I didn’t get too caught up in it.”
Raducanu meanwhile is excited by the thought of being part of a new generation of young women’s tennis players which includes the likes of her opponent in the US Open final, Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, and fellow teen Coco Gauff.
“All of us are pushing each other,” she said. “When you see one of the other players doing well you’re also competitive and you want to do well.
“The women’s game in general is so strong right now — the level is so high and anyone can win in any tournaments. Hopefully we can play each other in many more tournaments to come.”
Raducanu has received a wild card entry to Indian Wells and will be given a bye straight into Friday’s second round, putting her on course for a potential third round meeting with her idol Simona Halep in the third round. — AFP