Imago/PA Images Emma Raducanu with the US Open trophy.
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Teen sensation Raducanu splits from coach who steered her to shock US Open triumph

The 18-year-old is in pursuit of a high-level, experienced mentor.

EMMA RADUCANU HAS split from coach Andrew Richardson following her US Open triumph and is seeking an experienced mentor to help guide her through her next steps on tour.

Richardson previously coached the 18-year-old at Bromley Tennis Centre and was chosen to accompany Raducanu on her US trip because of their familiarity with one another.

Neither could have imagined where the partnership would lead and, despite the remarkable success it brought, Raducanu has decided she needs a coach with a WTA Tour pedigree.

Speaking after a homecoming event held by the Lawn Tennis Association at the National Tennis Centre, the teenager said: “Where I was at after Wimbledon, I was ranked around 200 in the world and at the time I thought Andrew would be a great coach to trial so we went to the States but never did I even dream of winning the US Open and having the run I did and now I’m ranked 22 in the world, which is pretty crazy to me.

“I feel like at this stage in my career, and playing the top players in the world, I realised I really need someone right now that has had that WTA Tour experience at the high levels, which means that I’m looking for someone who has been at that level and knows what it takes.

“And, especially right now because I’m so new to it, I really need someone to guide me who’s already been through that.”

Raducanu added that she does not yet have anyone in mind – although she is likely to have noted the news that renowned coach Darren Cahill is now a free agent after his split from Simona Halep with interest – and she does not expect to make any decision until the end of the season.

A willingness to work with a number of different coaches has already been a notable feature of Raducanu’s fledgling career and she has shown no hesitation in ending a partnership if she feels that is the right move, quickly parting from Nigel Sears after Wimbledon.

On splitting from Richardson, she said: “Obviously having such an experience with your team, it’s tough to have that conversation with anyone, but I think for me it’s just really what I need.”

Raducanu is now back in training and is mulling over where to return to the tour, with the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells – one of the biggest events on the WTA Tour – due to begin on 6 October.

She said: “I’ll decide in the next few days where I’m going to go to but, wherever I play next, I’m going to make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to jump into things too early.”

Raducanu’s New York success means she has a chance of qualifying for the end-of-season WTA Finals in Guadalajara, which features the top eight players of the year.

She said: “WTA Finals I would never even have dreamed of before because it was just so far out of reach. Coming reasonably close to it now it would be great if I qualified but, if not, it’s a complete bonus because I’m just way more focused on trying to get myself and my body ready for where I compete next.

“My priority is putting in the best possible pre-season that I can so I can start strong next year.”

Raducanu arrived home last Thursday after a whirlwind few days in New York that included attending the glitzy Met Gala, while she was announced this week as an ambassador for high-end jewellery brand Tiffany.

On Friday, the Kent teenager shared a court with the Duchess of Cambridge during a promotional event for the LTA Youth programme, with the governing body eager to capitalise on the interest surrounding Raducanu’s triumph.

Raducanu said of her royal meeting: “We were just speaking about the US Open and the win, and what a great achievement it was for us but also for the country. She was very supportive, and it was great to play tennis with her. She has a great game and actually a great forehand.

“All the opportunities I’m getting have been very fun, but where I really want to be is on a tennis court because I was just thriving out there.”

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey look ahead to the inaugural United Rugby Championship, and a massive weekend for Ireland in their bid to qualify for the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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