Emma Raducanu wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year
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Emma Raducanu is taking part in her first full season on the WTA Tour after a spectacular breakthrough year in 2020 which culminated in a historic Grand Slam win at the US Open. Her preparations for the Australian Open though were dealt a blow after she tested positive for Covid.
The 19-year-old was able to return to action in time to compete in a warm-up event ahead of the first major of the year.
But Raducanu suffered a demoralising defeat to Elena Rybakina, which saw the Brit win just one game in the match.
Raducanu wasn’t too downhearted after the match, admitting the defeat will help her moving forward.
“It’s tough but it’s good because I’m very proud and happy that I put myself out there,” she said.
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“I could have easily said it’s too soon and just play next week, but I wanted to really test where I’m at and obviously give myself some competitive points and matches.
“I think this will help put me in a better place for next week.”
In the immediate aftermath of the loss, Raducanu was spotted on the practice courts with coach Torben Beltz.
The 45-year-old joined Raducanu’s team at the end of November after the British teenager spent the first few months of her professional career flip-flopping between coaches.
There have been some question marks on Raducanu’s decision to part ways with Andrew Richardson, who helped steer her to glory at the US Open.
But Beltz meets Raducanu’s criteria of a more experienced coach on the WTA Tour with the German trainer previously working with Angelique Kerber.
The hard work starts now for Raducanu though as she heads into the Australian Open with certain expectations.
And former American tennis player Jan-Michael Gambill believes Raducanu’s main focus for this year should be to stick with her coach for a prolonged period of time.
“She shouldn’t be 0 and one, that shouldn’t be happening,” he said on Tennis Channel.
“But if you’re gonna have that happen, make sure it happens before the slam.
“That’s why you play in the warm-up tournaments so hopefully she can get some of that out.
“She’s got a new coach. Get a coach you can believe in and stay with that coach.
“You can’t just be switching coaches on the pro tour. You’ve got to get someone you believe in and stay with that coach for a while.”
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