Johanna Konta and Tim Henman give verdict on new Emma Raducanu coach requirements

Emma Raducanu has shown ‘ruthless streak’ says commentator

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Former British No 1s Johanna Konta and Tim Henman have given their verdict on the type of coach Emma Raducanu will need to guide her following her unprecedented breakthrough. The 18-year-old parted ways with Andrew Richardson following her historic run to the US Open title and is now seeking a new coach with more tour-level experience as she makes her transition to the pro circuit.

Raducanu made history in New York last month as she became the first-ever qualifier to win a Major, and the first woman to lift the title on just her second appearance at Grand Slam level.

The win saw her skyrocket up the rankings and the Bromley teenager now sits at world No 21, having entered the US Open at a then-career high of No 150 in the world.

Shortly after her run to the title in Flushing Meadows, Raducanu made the decision to part ways with Andrew Richardson, the coach she worked with en route to Grand Slam glory.

The 18-year-old received guidance from LTA coach Jeremy Bates while in Indian Wells for her first tournament since winning the US Open, though has already confirmed she will not be continuing to work alongside him for her remaining events in 2021.

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Raducanu had previously spoken of her hopes to find a coach with more experience on the WTA Tour, as she adjusts to life on the pro circuit, with her ranking now high enough to enter any tournament.

Amid her search for a long-term coach, former British No 1s Konta and Henman have laid out the requirements for Raducanu’s new mentor and explained exactly what the US Open champion is looking for in her next partnership.

“It’s very individual to her and she knows how she operates, how she functions. Her dad knows how they operate as a collective,” Konta said, speaking on Prime Video where she is a pundit during Indian Wells.

“And so it’s going to be very much on someone who can guide her, who can teach her, who encourages that curiosity which she naturally has as a gift. And I think they going to collectively come up with a few options because there’ll be many options out there.”

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Meanwhile Henman spoke of the important factors in starting a new coaching relationship.

The former world No 4 said: “There are so many different elements of a coach/player relationship. You’ve got to make sure that you’re singing from the same hymn sheet, you’ve got the same ideas about the game and about her game.

“So there is always going to be a little bit of trial and error to make sure that, if you’re going into a new relationship, that it works.”

He also suggested that Raducanu wait until the off-season to appoint a long-term coach, with the world No 21 still having tournaments in Moscow, Transylvania and Linz lined up before the end of the year.

“She is so young, she’s got so many areas that she can still improve on which makes it incredibly exciting but then she needs to get the right people around her to make sure that job can be done,” he continued.

“I think we’re all interested to see which path that she goes [down] but I think right now because of her schedule, she’s got three or four more tournaments this year, get through that with the way that she’s been then probably November and December is the opportunity really to make some bigger decisions.”

Jeremy Bates, the coach who worked with Raducanu in Indian Wells, also shared his insight into what he thought the 18-year-old needed from a mentor.

The LTA coach arrived in California with fellow British player Katie Boulter, who entered the qualifying event and lost in her opening match, and stayed to help the US Open champion out while at the tournament.

“Certainly what Emma needs is someone who’s highly intelligent and who’s going to keep helping her to learn, and I think’s how she’s going to be throughout her whole career,” he told Prime Video.

“But that’s very much a personal choice, there’s not an obvious answer to that.”
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