Emma Raducanu has finally confirmed that Torben Beltz will be her coach after a lengthy search for Andrew Richardson’s replacement. The British sensation brutally dumped Richardson after her US Open success in September.
The 18-year-old has been trialling different coaches but has now landed on Beltz, who previous worked with former World No 1 and Raducanu’s idol Angelique Kerber.
Raducanu ended her incredible season with a disappointing last-16 defeat at the Linz Open. She was beaten 6-1, 6-7, 7-5 by 20-year-old world 106-ranked Wang Xinyu.
But there was still positive news for Raducanu as she confirmed the appointment of a new coach. The Bromley-based star’s form had dipped after he split from Richardson.
Her former coach, who had previously overseen her development at youth level, guided her to her groundbreaking US Open success.
The 44-year-old Beltz helped Kerber win the Australian Open and the US Open. Raducanu has admitted that she is ‘excited’ and feeling ‘confident’ about working with the German.
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“You guys cracked it. It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach,” Raducanu said when asked if Beltz will be her new permanent coach.
“I’m definitely very excited to work with him throughout the pre-season and into next year so things are looking up and it’s a very, very positive feeling, very excited about all the work that is to come.”
“He brings a lot of experience. He’s obviously worked with Kerber who is such a great player and has done extremely well and won three Slams and I think that experience definitely helps with someone as inexperienced as me so he can help guide me through, which I feel really confident about.
“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.”
She came through a battle of teenagers in her final encounter with Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, winning 6-4 6-3.
Amazon Prime pundit Annabel Croft was impressed with Raducanu’s performance against Wang, which was not aided by an injury suffered early on. Croft noted that Raducanu managed eight aces during the match.
“It really was [epic]. What a high-quality and high-intensity tennis match,” she said.
“I have nothing but admiration for both of them to be honest. Raducanu, a lot of unforced errors off the forehand side in the opening set but really battled and scrapped and dug deep to try and get the match back on level terms. She was doing so well.
“It felt a little bit that she was going to come through the third set. She was certainly building her levels and making it so competitive and the crowd were getting behind her. What a shame she had that tweak of the injury.”
Croft added: “Eight aces for Emma Raducanu. Isn’t that a fantastic stat? As you picked up on Sam (Smith, presenter), a very high first serve percentage.
“That’s something to be very proud of. But the winner count from Wang, 32 to 21, and a higher unforced error count.
“A lot of those coming off the forehand side in the opening set but Raducanu did get that back on track and did start to make a lot of headway. The break points won, she created 16 of them, that’s a lot.
“She converted on seven so a lot to admire from both of them to be honest.”