'Needs to grow up': Tennis great criticises Emma Raducanu move

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Pictured here, Emma Raducanu smiles during a tennis practice session in 2021.
Emma Raducanu has finally settled on Angelique Kerber's former mentor Torben Beltz as her new coach.

Seven-time grand slam champion Mats Wilander has criticised Emma Raducanu's appointment of a new full-time coach, insisting the teen star needs to "grow up in her own time" and listen to her own voice.

The 18-year-old Brit made her grand slam debut at Wimbledon earlier this year, before winning the US Open in extraordinary scenes in September.

'RIDICULOUS': Lleyton Hewitt fumes over Davis Cup farce

'LEAVE HER ALONE': Fans defend Ash Barty over Peng Shuai silence

'WANTS TO': Australian Open boss' huge call on Novak Djokovic

Raducanu became the first qualifier in tennis history to win a US Open major after her dream run at Flushing Meadows.

The World No.19 was catapulted into superstardom after a fairytale 2021 that saw sponsors gravitate towards the next-big thing in tennis.

Following her breakthrough grand slam win at Flushing Meadows, Raducanu parted ways with coach Andrew Richardson after revealing that she wanted someone with more experience on the women's tour.

She has since announced Torben Beltz as her new coach, with the 44-year-old previously working with former World No.1 Angelique Kerber and Croatia's Donna Vekic.

However, Wilander believes the most important thing for Raducanu and other young players is to find out their own identity on the court, before they are moulded by experienced mentors.

Pictured right, Britain's Emma Raducanu shakes hands with China's Wang Xinyu at the Linz Open in 2021.
Britain's Emma Raducanu (right) congratulates China's Wang Xinyu for winning their Linz Open second round match in 2021. Pic: Getty

“Young players need to play the way they want to play," he said.

“They need to find out how good they are, and they need to ride the wave of youth and confidence – before you start hiring coaches that have helped players to win grand slams.

“She needs to have fun, she needs to be allowed to do what she wants to do off and on the tennis court. And she needs to develop in her own time and not to force coaches on her.

“I just feel it’s unnecessary to take coaches that have experience when you are dealing with an 18-year-old who is fresh, who is so full of life.

“We’ve got to let these kids grow up before you try to shape them.

The Swedish former World No.1 says Raducanu runs the risk of burn out if she expects too much, too soon from her career.

“There is a very, very big chance that people are going to be what stops Emma from developing into a great player.

“They need to grow up in their own time and with Emma Raducanu, I’m sorry, but it’s not a good idea to have too many voices in her head.

“The only voice she needs to listen to is her own.”

Emma Raducanu holidaying before return home

Raducanu has been enjoying some rest and relaxation on what she described as her first holiday in seven years this week.

She is set to play in an exhibition match at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in what will be her first tournament on home soil since winning the US Open.

The 18-year-old said she hopes the experience of Beltz can help her build on her breakout season next year.

“It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach," she said after a recent loss to Wang Xinyu at the Linz Open.

“I’m definitely very excited to work with him throughout the pre-season and into next year. I’m feeling excited about all the work that is to come.

“I think he brings a lot of experience. Obviously he’s worked with Kerber, who’s such a great player and has done extremely well, won three slams.

"I think that experience definitely helps with someone as inexperienced as me.

“He can help guide me through, which I feel really confident about, and also he’s a really positive, cheerful guy who brings great energy to the team so I think that’s also important when you’re travelling on the road for quite a long time on the tour.”

with agencies

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting