US Open champion Emma Raducanu said she is ‘optimistic’ about finding a new coach before the Australian Open starts in January. Raducanu, who stunned the sporting world when she won the Flushing Meadows title in September as a qualifier, announced after the Grand Slam that she would no longer be working with former Davis Cup player Andrew Richardson.
The 18-year-old confirmed reports she had a trial last week with Johanna Konta’s former coach Esteban Carril among others as she continues her search for a mentor to guide her during the next phase of her career.
Raducanu will be relying on her own instincts at next week’s Transylvania Open in Romania and has travelled to Cluj-Napoca with physiotherapist Will Herbert, agent Chris Helliar and her father Ian, who is Romanian and her grandmother lives in Bucharest. They got a warm welcome in Cluj-Napoca, where she spoke in Romanian to the limited crowd after a practice session.
The teenager added: “I love Romania. I used to come once or twice a year to visit my grandmother, who lives in Bucharest, while growing up. It is an hour’s flight from here.”
“The welcome I got was really, really nice and I always love coming back.”
‘I am feeling optimistic about trying to have something in place for the off-season and the Australian Open. No, I haven’t decided on the coach. But things are moving forward,’ Raducanu told reporters.
‘I think having a coach is great, but you are on your own on the court. I don’t think it is great to be dependent. You need to coach yourself. That is something I am learning.’
‘Part of the experience I am having is being able to learn to coach myself.
‘Sometimes it won’t always work, like in Indian Wells, but in the long-term if I keep doing that then I will be better in the situations in the future.’
The Transylvania Open begins today and will be held without spectators due to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the Romanian Government.
Ashleigh Barty, the No. 1 player on the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA’s) world ranking table, will not attend the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico between November 10 and 17, the Wimbledon Championship winner announced on Saturday.
“I wanted to let everyone know that I won’t be competing in any further tournaments in 2021, including the WTA Finals in Mexico,” said Barty in a statement. “It was a difficult decision but I need to prioritize my body and my recovery from our 2021 season and focus on having the strongest pre-season for the Australian summer.”
The 25-year-old Australian ace has not played since she was knocked out in the third round at the U.S. Open in September. Since she won the WTA Finals title in 2019 and the event was cancelled because of COVID-19 in 2020, Barty is the legitimate reigning champion of the event.
Australia has strict COVID-19 protocols and it remains to be seen what measures will be in place when the Australian Open takes place in January. When Barty returned home in September after months of competitions overseas, she spent two weeks in mandatory quarantine in a hotel.
“With ongoing challenges of traveling back to Queensland and quarantine requirements, I am not willing to compromise my preparation for January. I wish the WTA team and the players all the best for a successful WTA Finals and the rest of the year,” said Barty.