“I am my own coach.”
This bold claim was made by British Number 1, Emma Raducanu, following the news she had split from coach Torben Beltz at the end of last month. The 19-year-old had made similar observations last year, after choosing not to extend her agreement with former coach Andre Richardson – just two weeks after her victory in the US Open final.
With both the French Open and Wimbledon on the horizon, Raducanu has revealed she isn’t panicking about finding a permanent coach, and that there are many outside sources she can turn to for advice – including Italian Riccardo Piatti. Ahead of the Madrid Open, which got underway on April 28th, she said:
“I feel like that from a young age, I haven’t necessarily always had a coach and when I was training alone growing up, I had to learn to be my own coach very early on.”
While Raducanu has gone through four different coaches in a year, she has made it clear that she will be looking to try a new model, which could see her work with different coaches on a short-term basis. But is likely she will be without a coach for the upcoming French Open.
And with the clay-court season in full swing, and the Italian Open to be played, before Roland-Garros plays host to the second Slam of the year, it won’t be long before fans are pondering the odds for tennis betting online. But can the clay-court novice bounce back from injury and find form in the upcoming tournaments – with or without a coach?
Raducanu recently made her debut on the red surface at the Stuttgart Open, and despite thrashing Australian qualifier Storm Sanders in straight sets (6-1, 6-2), she eventually put up an encouraging performance but lost to the World Number 1, Iga Świątek in the quarter-finals (6-4, 6-4) – in what was the first time she had played against an opponent ranked first in the world.
While it was great to see her back on court, and playing well, the surface at Stuttgart was indoors and there will be tougher tests to come. Raducanu will continue her pursuit in Madrid, where the altitude is high, before playing in Rome and then onto Paris for the French Open. The teenager will be making her senior debut at Roland-Garros, and of course, the conditions and expectations in Grand Slam tournaments are very different from those of other tour events.
According to the latest French Open odds online, Raducanu is a mere outsider to add to her tally of major titles – and given her inexperience on clay, that is to be expected. However, she was only a qualifier when participating in the US Open last year – and overcame seeded opponents to win at Flushing Meadows. She also steamrolled her way through the rounds at Wimbledon, before being forced to retire in her fourth-round match, due to breathing difficulties.
Of course, her return to SW19 will be highly anticipated later this summer – not only being a home Slam, but upon the courts in which she made her breakthrough. Still only 19 years of age, there’s a long road ahead for Raducanu, but there’s no denying she has the talent to go on and have many more successes.