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'Very independent' Emma Raducanu already been told coaching decision isn't make or break

Emma Raducanu had already been told she was ‘very independent’ and that a coach wouldn’t make or break her months before splitting with Torben Beltz. The 19-year-old has now ended three coaching partnerships in under a year but her Billie Jean King Cup captain Anne Keothavong previously admitted Raducanu had the ‘ability’ to do things without the guidance of a coach.

Raducanu confirmed on Tuesday that she would no longer be working with Beltz after just five months together. It’s the world No 11’s third shock coach split in nine months, as she parted ways with Nigel Sears after a stellar breakthrough at Wimbledon as a wildcard and did not extend her trial with Andrew Richardson after her historic US Open triumph. The Brit now faces having to assemble some form of coaching team before next month’s French Open.

Anne Keothavong, who has acted as a coach to the teenager in BJK Cup as Great Britain’s captain, however, has played down the significance of Raducanu’s next decision, having previously confessed that a coach wasn’t ‘make or break’ for the US Open champion. “I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on a coach making or breaking a player,” she said in January, discussing the teenager’s coaching situation shortly after she started working with Beltz.

“Emma is a very independent young woman and she has the ability to figure it out herself. A coach is there to help and guide but ultimately it is up to the player and hopefully you can instil the confidence for that player to execute when it really matters.” 

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Keothavong’s verdict on Raducanu being independent has proven true, as the world No 11’s decision to split with Beltz was “to transition to a new training model” and she has no intention of appointing a head coach in the short-term. The 19-year-old’s father previously claimed he thought Raducanu should have “a coach for every shot” and the new method could see Raducanu and her team bring in different coaches for different tournaments and tactics.

The Brit will be back in action next week at the WTA 1000 in Madrid and will be joined by the LTA’s Iain Bates in the meantime, having confirmed the LTA will be supporting her “in the interim”. In the full announcement of her split with Beltz, Raducanu also said: “I want to thank Torben for his coaching, professionalism and dedication over the last half a year. He has a huge heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time together.”

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Their split came off the back of Raducanu’s best result of the season, a quarter-final showing in her WTA Tour debut on the clay where she reached the last eight before falling to world No 1 and eventual-champion Iga Swiatek. But it’s not the first time she has ended a partnership after a good result, as her split with Sears came after the teenager became the youngest British woman in the Open Era to reach the last 16 of Wimbledon.

Raducanu made the move to bring on a familiar face in Richardson, one of her LTA youth coaches, for the North American hard-court swing but she axed him less than two weeks after becoming the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam at the US Open.



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