Countdown: Clare Balding pays tribute to Emma Raducanu
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Emma Raducanu’s partnership with Torben Beltz has begun encouragingly. The US Open champion has been working with Beltz during the off-season and will be coached by the German in 2022, after a successful trial period towards the back end of 2021.
Raducanu parted ways with former coach Nigel Sears following her run to the fourth round of Wimbledon in the summer, before sensationally winning the US Open as a qualifier while working with her former youth coach Andrew Richardson.
The 19-year-old opted against continuing working with Richardson due to his lack of tour experience, and embarked on a series of trials with more experienced candidates.
Raducanu had a publicised trial with Esteban Carill before opting for Beltz, who previously coached Angelique Kerber to Grand Slam success and the world No 1 status.
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Raducanu will hope Beltz can have a similar impact on her career, as she deals with the pressure of being a marked woman on tour as a result of her September success in New York.
“Tobin is a super positive guy and he always has a lot of energy,” Raducanu said. “I feel like that’s really cool to have in my team.”
Raducanu was due to compete in last week’s Mubadala exhibition in Abu Dhabi but is currently self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Raducanu is the strong favourite to to win BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday following her record-breaking run at Flushing Meadows.
If she wins, she will receive the award via a video link, and three-time winner Andy Murray believes she would be a deserved recipient of the gong.
Murray, who won the award in 2013, 2015 and 2016, said: “I don’t think anyone will be too surprised if that is the outcome. She created one of the biggest global sporting moments of the year. I think she deserves to win. Anytime I won, I always got accused of having no personality. She certainly has a fantastic personality. I hope she wins. Good luck to her.”
Murray also warned Raducanu of the pressure she faces next year and beyond, with public and media expectations high that she will back up her US Open win with further Major success
“There will be certain stages in her career, certainly around Wimbledon and the grass-court season where the expectations are extremely high,” Murray told Eurosport. “And there’ll be a lot of pressure there. I know that that’s obviously something that’s difficult to deal with. I’m sure she’ll be able to deal with it, but it’s not easy.
“She’s unbelievably well-grounded. She’s very, very smart. I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fine, but it’s not easy. I certainly didn’t have it to the degree that she’s had it but when I played Wimbledon the first time I went from nobody knowing me or watching my matches to being on the front page of the newspapers and being followed around for a period of time and it’s like overnight, it’s kind of life-changing.
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