In the space of just a couple of months, Emma Raducanu’s life has completely changed. After first making the headlines for a run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, only to withdraw midway through her match against Ajla Tomljanović due to breathing difficulties, the 18-year-old sent shockwaves across the world with a surprise victory in the US Open, sending records tumbling as she became the first British female to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade’s Wimbledon triumph in 1977.
However, just weeks after defeating her Canadian rival Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final, dispatching of the 19-year-old in straight sets at Flushing Meadows’ iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium, Raducanu made the shock announcement that she has split from her coach Andrew Richardson, who she brought in solely for her travels stateside and helped her defy all the odds in the betting on tennis at Betfair.
Speaking at her homecoming party at the National Tennis Centre in London after winning the US Open, Raducanu said: “As I’m so new to it, I think I really need someone just to guide me who has already been through that themselves.
“Never did I even dream of winning the US Open and now I’m ranked 22 in the world, which is pretty crazy to me.”
The decision shouldn’t come as a total shock though, as Richardson said shortly after the US Open triumph that he would ‘sit down and see what the plans are’ with Raducanu when they returned to London, and given that the teenager had disposed of Nigel Sears in similar fashion after Wimbledon, we can’t say we didn’t see it coming.
However, at this early stage of her career, has she made the right decision? Whilst Richardson does lack a wealth of experience, and Raducanu will likely bring in someone who has worked with the biggest names in tennis and a coach who has helped guide other professionals to several Grand Slam titles, he makes up for it in other areas.
The English trainer has worked with Racucanu since she was just 10 years old, that is a factor that could only benefit the 18-year-old in the coming seasons, especially when the going gets tough, because realistically, it isn’t always going to be as plain sailing as her US Open victory and she will come under increased pressure after setting the bar so high this early.
Not only that, when looking for a new coach after getting rid of Sears, Raducanu knew that she needed someone she felt comfortable around to come with her for a lengthy two-month stint stateside and Richardson was considered to be the best man for the job at that stage. Surely when she is doing a lot more travelling next year, going down under for the Australian Open in the early parts of the season and globetrotting constantly, a familiar face by her side is only going to benefit her.
Of course, the decision has been made and only Raducanu knows what is best for her at what must be a very weird stage of her career. There are some fantastic options for her out there, like Darren Cahill, who perhaps conveniently split with Simona Halep after six years and two Grand Slam triumphs together, Patrick Mouratoglou, who works with Serena Williams, Coco Gauff and Stefanos Tsitsipas, or even Naomi Osaka’s coach Wim Fissette.
All of those names will surely help Raducanu become more favourable in the tennis betting tips, but whether or not she will rue getting rid of Richardson at this stage of her career, well, only time will tell!