Emma Raducanu parts company with coach Andrew Richardson just weeks after US Open triumph

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Emma Raducanu parts company with coach Andrew Richardson just weeks after US Open triumph - GETTY IMAGES
Emma Raducanu parts company with coach Andrew Richardson just weeks after US Open triumph - GETTY IMAGES

Emma Raducanu has parted company with her coach at the US Open as she believes she now needs more experience to take on tennis's big guns.

The 18-year-old described a "tough conversation" she has had with Andrew Richardson within days of their fairytale triumph together in New York.

"It's tough to have that conversation with anyone, but I think for me like that's just really what I need," she told reporters, revealing how she was currently using only practice partners at training.

For Raducanu, who also suggested she could juggle tour life with studying for an economics degree, her top priority is to now find a new coach while she weighs up which tournament to play at next.

She said she needed "someone who's had that professional tour experience, and has been through it and seen players in my situation for many years going through the same because it's going to take a lot".

After her ranking shot up to 22 following her Grand Slam title, she said she will be facing "serious competition and serious players".

"I felt like I just really need someone right now who has been through that and can really guide me along the way because I'm still very, very new to everything," Raducanu added.

Former British Davis Cup player Richardson was believed to be on a short-term deal to coach her, having been drafted back in as her main man after Wimbledon. Raducanu and her father, Ian, had previously taken the decision to part with Nigel Sears, the father-in-law of Andy Murray, after she burst on to the scene at the All England Club. Richardson, 47, had done contrastingly little coaching at main tour level, but worked with Raducanu at Bromley Tennis Centre for two years from the age of 11.

Andrew Richardson, coach of Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, cheers after Raducanu defeated Maria Sakkari of Greece during their Women’s Singles semifinals match on Day Eleven of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 09, 2021 - GETTY IMAGES
Andrew Richardson, coach of Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, cheers after Raducanu defeated Maria Sakkari of Greece during their Women’s Singles semifinals match on Day Eleven of the 2021 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 09, 2021 - GETTY IMAGES

Explaining the latest decision, Raducanu pointed out she was still ranked around 200 in the world after Wimbledon. "At the time I thought Andrew would be a great coach to trial," she added. "We went to the States, but never did I even dream of winning the US Open and having the run I did. Now I'm ranked 22 in the world which is pretty crazy to me and I feel like at this stage in my career and playing the top players in the world that I just did, I just 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 think I really need someone just to guide me who's already been through that themselves."

In the short term, she explained, "I'm just with hitting partners in the gaps, but if I were to play tournaments I don't think that's the best time to trial to coach."

An experienced head is likely to be brought in during the pre-season so she can "trial some coaches.... hopefully with that top-drawer experience", she added.

In a wide-ranging briefing with British press, a relaxed Raducanu also praised the Duchess of Cambridge's forehand, having taken part in a hit with her on court as part of her LTA welcome home on Friday.

The event also celebrates Joe Salisbury's title in the doubles, as well as Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid whose victory in the wheelchair doubles completed a calendar Grand Slam after wins in Melbourne, Paris and Wimbledon - although the focus of the event will be around Britain's first women's singles champion in 41 years.

Raducanu said she had been nervous about playing with royalty, but "we just spoke with the other winners as well".

"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 added. "She was very supportive, and it was great to play tennis with her. She has a great game and actually a great forehand."

Having secured top grades in her A-levels while preparing for Grand Slam tennis, Raducanu is now seriously considering juggling life on tour with studying for an economics degree.

During a Q&A with fans, she said: "I think I am definitely interested at some point to go to university, whether that's in a few years while on a tour or after my career. I'm pretty interested in economics, seeing as I've always studied it. The parents have both been in the industry so I will probably learn and follow that way."

Raducanu was this week added to the entry list for the Kremlin Cup, a WTA 500 event in Moscow next month, as her plans for a return to tennis started to take shape. She also remains registered to compete at Indian Wells from Oct 6.

However, she said on Friday that she is yet to make a firm decision about where she plays next.

Since returning to her Bromley home last week, she said it "was really nice just to spend time with my family but actually I haven't had that much time to really enjoy it and let it sink in, because it's just been straight back to a really pretty busy schedule, and just trying to adjust".

The new ambassador for Tiffany and Co has spent the last week at a London Fashion Week event and was due to meet more fans at Nike Town in Oxford Circus.

She says she is more excited, however, about returning to the tennis. "I actually got back on court a few days ago and then did a full training day so 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," she added.

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