Emma Raducanu reveals she has made big changes with her latest coach

Kevin Palmer
Emma Raducanu turned in an impressive performance
Emma Raducanu turned in an impressive performance in Abu Dhabi

Emma Raducanu has revealed new coach Nick Cavaday has already made key improvements to her game as she prepares to play in the WTA 1000 event in Doha.

Raducanu has been given a wild card into the Qatar Open and will face Anhelina Kalinina in the opening round.

The former US Open champion revealed after losing to Ons Jabeur in the second round of the WTA Tour event in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday that she was hoping to play in Doha.

Her wish has been granted and the 21-year-old, who has won three of her six matches following her return from eight months on the sidelines, will open her campaign against 32nd-ranked Ukrainian Kalinina early next week.

They have played once before, on the clay courts of Madrid in 2022, with Kalinina winning a close contest in three sets.

The winner of the match will take on big-hitting eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko, who has already won two titles this season.

The 2021 US Open champion was the first guest on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel and she opened up on her development under her latest coach.

“When you start working with a new coach, they implement new things,” said Raducanu.

“You want to give yourself time to do that, but on the tour, there is no time.

“So straight after Australia, I went back to London, took two days off to rest and then training right away.

“That’s one thing I’m doing better. After a tournament, if I’ve lost, I (don’t need to) take four or five days off because I’m too upset or I have a niggle. It’s just straight back to it.

“Just consistent work and I’m improving little by little.”

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Raducanu has been criticised for changing her coaching team several times since her US Open win in 2021, with her latest hire a familiar face from her days as a junior.

Cavaday worked with Raducanu as she made her way through the tennis ranks and she seems comfortable with the advice he is giving her.

“I made some tweaks after Australia, right before Abu Dhabi,” continued Raducanu, as she reflected on a week in Abu Dhabi, where she beat world No 28 Marie Bouzkova and then lost to two-time Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur.

“See them in the first round match was really positive. We worked really hard and to see it all come through, I was really encouraged by that. I’m slowly getting there.

“You learn something and then unlearn it. Over time, you learn more.”

When asked what her targets are for 2024, it is clear that Raducanu is keen to avoid the injury nightmares that saw her miss most of last year.

“Staying healthy is the big goal for this year,” she added. “Injury wise, sickness wise. Also, another goal is just consistency.”

Former British No 1 Tim Henman has given his verdict on Raducanu’s hopes for the season, as he backed the world No 296 to enjoy success.

“It’s been massively exciting to see Raducanu back on the court in 2024. She’s only played two tournaments but I’ve been very impressed with her,” Henman told Sky Sports.

“If she can play a lot of matches and tournaments without getting those injuries that break her momentum then, irrespective of the result, that would be a huge positive for her because her tennis game is so good. The results will come.”