Emma Raducanu’s former coach highlights her strengths and explains why she will ‘go through a lot coaches’
Intensity at every point, playing well under pressure and movement are some of the key factors that have contributed to Emma Raducanu’s swift rise, according to her former coach Mark Petchey, who also believes she will former a lot of “coaching collaborations” during her career.
Raducanu stunned the tennis world in September when she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam, beating fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final.
What made the 18-year-old’s success even more remarkable was the fact that she was playing in only fourth top-level tournament having made her WTA Tour debut at the Nottingham Open in June.
getting some reps in 🔧⚙️🎲 pic.twitter.com/7ujN7QAArQ
— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) October 19, 2021
Amazon Prime analyst Petchey, who coached Raducanu from July-December 2020, was asked to explain what makes the teenager such a good player.
“Yeah, just intensity to every point,” he told Tennis.com during an interview. “Every point she brings the same thing. She plays her best tennis under pressure. She backs herself, moves much better than people give her credit for – it’s every efficient, and so it looks very easy. But, she moves incredibly effectively on the court.
“The US Open, she was serving very effectively, got a lot from it. That was a big focus for us. I still think that will improve massively. Her return is one of the best, very [Victoria] Azarenka-like. There’s not a lot of holes in her game.”
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Of course there is always room for improvement with Petchey highlighting certain areas.
“Some of it will be small, and some of it will be significant serving, volleying, and her ability to move into net,” he said.
“Not the actual technique—her technique is very good, I think she sometimes just doesn’t know where to stand. I think her forehand will become a more dominant shot.”
Raducanu is currently without a full-time coach as she parted company with Andrew Richardson shortly after her US Open success as both parties opted not to extend the short-term agreement. Before Richardson she worked with Nigel Sears during Wimbledon.
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Petchey believes Raducanu “will go through a lot coaches during her career”, but he insists people should not be hung up on “hiring and firing” as it is all about collaborations these days.
“Especially when dealing with something so unique as an 18-year-old who’s won a Grand Slam and also wants to have a good conversation,” he said. “And I think, to be honest, that Emma will go through a lot coaches during her career.
“Because she will take what she needs from someone and she will find someone else who will be good for something else. She’s very proactive about the way she wants to build her game.
“People need to understand that there will be a lot of collaborations during her career, rather than the ‘hiring’ and ‘firing’ of a coach. It feels so personal, and people need to stop getting hung up on hiring and firing.”
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