Emma Raducanu is still finding her feet at the very highest level of competitive sport. She may be a US Open winner, earning a standing alongside some more established household names in the process, but she remains something of a rookie in the grand scheme of things.
It is important to remember that it was only at Wimbledon during the summer of 2021 that new star of British tennis emerged. That was less than 12 months ago and, while a lot has happened since then, a steep learning curve continues to be taken in.
A Grand Slam set will be completed when visiting Roland Garros at the end of May, with tennis odds suggesting that it would be foolish to write off an emerging talent that has already picked up a useful habit of ripping up the form book. Anybody looking to bet on French Open markets can back Raducanu at 33/1, and that price will shorten quickly if she displays an early penchant for life on clay.
© USTA pic.twitter.com/1qhLqNPojH
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) September 11, 2021
In many ways, her game appears perfectly suited to life amid the red dust in Paris, with precision and patience as much a part of an ever-expanding repertoire as power and panache. Useful experience will have been acquired before heading to Paris, and all of that should stand her in good stead.
There are, however, issues to be resolved on and off the court before a player that boasts so much promise can realistically be expected to deliver on that with any kind of consistency. Continuity is key to any professional, and that has been lacking at times.
Changing it up
While a countdown to the 2022 French Open was started the moment prestigious pieces of silverware were handed out on Australian soil at the turn of the calendar year, it is well and truly on now. With that in mind, final tweaks are being made to pre-tournament preparations.
In the case of Raducanu, that process has included another change behind the scenes. After working with coach Torben Beltz for just five months, the decision has been made to part with his services. A German that previously helped Angelique Kerber to Open glory in America and Down Under is no longer by a Brit’s side.
“I want to thank Torben for his coaching, professionalism and dedication over the last half a year,” Raducanu has said, before adding: “I feel the best direction for my development is to transition to a new training model.”
yippeeeeee first desert winn!!! ?? pic.twitter.com/DqijDbeGuv
— Emma Raducanu (@EmmaRaducanu) March 12, 2022
Having severed ties with Beltz, a fourth coach will now be taken on in the space of a year. After opening at Wimbledon under the guidance of Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson helped to deliver a stunning triumph at Flushing Meadows before discovering that his contract would not be renewed.
Another of those intended to offer a helping hand has now come and gone, with it apparent that all of the right boxes are not being ticked. If that is the case, then Raducanu is wise to keep mixing things up until the perfect formula is found. She does, however, need things to settle down at some point as further success will only be achieved if stability can be found on both training and show courts.