Emma Raducanu’s new coach: British star temporarily brings in trusted figure for Nottingham

Emma Raducanu working with Jane O'Donoghue
Emma Raducanu has been working with Jane O'Donoghue in Nottingham.

All eyes are on Emma Raducanu at the Nottingham Open this week, with the British star back in action after missing a significant chunk of the clay season.

The Brit will be buoyed by playing at home over the next month, playing multiple grass court events before Wimbledon, and will look to kickstart her 2024.

Initially, there has been a slight setback for her, with coach Nick Cavaday unable to help her grass court preparation in recent days due to illness.

However, she has been able to turn to a familiar face to assist her at the WTA 250 event.

Who is Jane O’Donoghue?

To prepare for her first WTA event in over a month – and her first home grass tournament of a busy few weeks – Raducanu has turned to a very familiar face in the form of O’Donoghue.

O’Donoghue is a former professional tennis player, winning three ITF Tour titles and making four appearances at Wimbledon, reaching the second round in 2004 and 2005.

After reaching a career-high of 189th in the WTA Rankings, the Brit retired from the sport and took on a coaching role at the LTA – where she first met the 2021 US Open champion.

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She was a well-respected coach at the LTA and spent 10 years from 2009 to 2019 as an LTA national coach, frequently working with Raducanu across that period.

The world No 209 has frequently turned to O’Donoghue during her professional career for advice, most recently working with her in Auckland this year – before she hired Cavaday.

But, with Cavaday sidelined over the past week, O’Donoghue has stepped in to help her former protege.

No coaching carousel

Raducanu’s coaching situation has often faced intense scrutiny, with the Brit’s decision to often verge from one coach to the next raising a few eyebrows at times.

The 21-year-old worked with Andrew Richardson during her historic run at Flushing Meadows, but that remained only a temporary partnership despite the incredible success.

In the ensuing seasons, she has gone on to work with accomplished coaches such as Torben Beltz and Dmitry Tursunov but did not stick with either of them for a long-term spell.

At one point she had had a total of five different coaches in two years but has found some stability – and success – under Cavaday.

Much like O’Donoghue, Cavaday has a long-term relationship with Raducanu, having also worked with her as a junior.

And though the decision to skip the French Open may have seemed odd from the outside, hopes are high for the grass court season after positive displays in the first half of the season.

The Brit won her opening-round match at the Australian Open and won both her ties in Great Britain’s impressive Billie Jean King Cup win over France this spring.

She also played well in Indian Wells, reaching the third round before a battling loss to Aryna Sabalenka, while she reached the quarter-final in Stuttgart – where she pushed Iga Swiatek across two tight sets.

Having skipped the grass season in 2023 due to injury, Raducanu is effectively on a ‘free hit’ for the rest of the year – and will look to boost her ranking in front of her home fans.

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