US Open winner Emma Raducanu has decided to replace coach Andrew Richardson with someone who has the experience to keep her at the top level on the WTA Tour.
Richardson, who coached British youth players, worked with Raducanu at Bromley Tennis Centre near her Kent home and then went with the 18-year-old to New York, where she entered her second major in the qualifying rounds.
He replaced Nigel Sears, Andy Murray’s father-in-law, who Raducanu dropped after reaching the round of 16 at Wimbledon in July.
“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,” Raducanu said at an event staged by the British Lawn Tennis Association at the National Tennis Centre.
“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,” she said.
“I’m so new to it, I really need someone to guide me who’s already been through that.
She said it had been tough to axe Richardson after they had shared the euphoria of her US triumph.
“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,” she said.
Raducanu’s seeming ruthlessness was backed up by one of the most experienced coaches on the women’s tour, Patrick Mouratoglou, who has guided Serena Williams since 2012.
Speaking to AFP on Friday the Frenchman said: “young Emma Raducanu...really impressed me. But now the ‘crap’ starts.”
Raducanu, who only played her first WTA tournament at Nottingham in June and then played two more tour events in the run up to the US Open, said she is weighing when to return to action.
The prestigious Indian Wells tournament is due to begin on October 6.
“Wherever I play next, I’m going to make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to jump into things too early,” she said.
Raducanu’s New York success means she is ranked 22 in the world and could still qualify for the end-of-season WTA Finals.
“I would never even have dreamed of before because it was just so far out of reach,” she said.
“My priority is putting in the best possible pre-season that I can so I can start strong next year.”
Raducanu was feted in New York following her triumph. She attended the glitzy Met Gala and became an ambassador for New York-based luxury jewellery brand Tiffany.
“All the opportunities I’m getting have been very fun, but where I really want to be is on a tennis court.”