'Strange situation': Tennis star's startling Emma Raducanu reveal

Pictured here, Emma Raducanu hits a backhand at the French Open.
Emma Raducanu is without a full-time coach right now after parting ways with Torben Beltz last month. Pic: Getty

Emma Raducanu's unorthodox coaching saga has been thrust into the spotlight for the second time this week after leading men's doubles player Joe Salisbury labelled it a "strange situation"

Tennis legend John McEnroe called the Raducanu coaching saga "unbelievable" this week after the teen sensation was bundled out in the second round of the French Open.

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The US Open champion exited after a stunning second-round loss, going down after winning the first set against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Making her debut at Roland Garros, Raducanu suffered a stunning collapse in the 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 defeat to her Belarusian opponent on Wednesday.

Raducanu split with her coach Torbin Beltz in April, despite the pair spending just five months together.

Beltz was the third different mentor in 10 months for Raducanu, who came to Roland Garros without a coach after announcing that she was trying a "new training model" that involves support from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and meetings with consultants.

Raducanu replaced Nigel Sears with Andrew Richardson after Wimbledon, then decided not to renew the latter's contract despite the fact he guided her to a historic victory at the US Open as a qualifier.

Part of the 19-year-old's latest arrangement involves technical work with LTA coach Louis Cayer, who normally works specifically with Britain's doubles specialists, such as Salisbury.

“Louis at the moment has said the doubles guys are still his priority,” Salisbury said after booking a second round berth at Roland Garros with a comfortable straight-sets win.

“So whether that changes at all we’ll see.

The 30-year-old said due to Cayer's role with other British tennis stars, the coach would often be unable to attend Raducanu's matches or practices, making it a less than ideal scenario for the 19-year-old.

“It’s a bit of a strange situation that he has got on with Emma at the moment where he’s helping her out but not really her coach,” Salisbury added.

“It’s a lot of players to manage and he’s not always going to be able to be at all her practices and matches. I can’t say for her whether she will be happy.”

Seen here, Britain's Emma Raducanu being helped by Louis Cayer during a training session on day one of the French Open.
Britain's Emma Raducanu is helped by Louis Cayer during a training session on day one of the French Open. Pic: Getty

Cayer has been helping Raducanu hone her technique and rebuild her stroke since April, with particular focus on her serve and forehand.

“Louis is great,” said fellow British doubles player Neal Skupski, who is also through to the third round of the French Open.

“He’s been great for me, he’s changed my game quite a bit since I came out of college. I’m sure he’ll try and put his stamp on Emma’s game in some way. And I’m sure he’ll be a success. But, I mean, I don’t know how long this is for.

“He told us at the very start when it happened, the doubles guys will get priority. Normally there’s a priority done on ranking. Joe is No.1 at the moment, so he’ll get the first time for Louis. And then if he’s at nine o’clock, then I’ll try and go at 10 or 11, and then it’ll be the next person in line in the rankings. And then Emma.”

John McEnroe questions 'unbelievable' Emma Raducanu situation

Speaking after her loss at the French Open, McEnroe said he could not fathom the wisdom behind the 19-year-old's decision not to employ a conventional coach.

“Honestly, if I won the US Open having gone through qualifying, I wouldn’t change my coach at least for the next year, so I don’t understand that move,” McEnroe said during his commentary duties for Eurosport.

“Obviously her parents are involved and they know more than I know. But this idea of a revolving door of coaches – I just don’t think that’s good for any player, much less so for a player at this stage of her career. We have to wait and see and hopefully she finds someone she can stick with for a while."

John McEnroe says he can't understand Emma Raducanu's decision to churn through tennis coaches. Pic: Eursport/Getty
John McEnroe says he can't understand Emma Raducanu's decision to churn through tennis coaches. Pic: Eursport/Getty

Raducanu's father Ian is understood to prefer a model whereby the 19-year-old learns as much as she can from one coach in a short space of time, before moving onto someone else with different ideas.

However, McEnroe insists Raducanu would benefit more from an experienced mentor who remains by her side and can have ideas bounced off them from week to week.

“Obviously experience, she is still very young. She has sort of put herself in a difficult position because a lot is expected of her and with the people around her, we are not sure if she is comfortable with them just yet. Hopefully in the next year or two she will find that.

“We have got to keep a little perspective here. At Wimbledon last year she was unable to finish a match because of stress and it got to be too much for her.

"Then she came out and did something that no one has ever done – man or woman – in 150 years of tennis, coming from the qualifying and winning.

"All of a sudden, there is this pressure on her, this expectation, that has gotten a little bit overwhelming as well. She has changed coaches, three, four or five times which is unbelievable for someone who has just come off winning a major.”

with agencies

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