London | Raducanu drops Tursunov, but takes up Green

Yet again, Emma Raducanu has astonished her critics by parting ways with her latest coach, Dmitry Tursunov, after just two-and-a-half months of working together, and announcing that is teaming up with Andy Murray’s former fitness coach Jez Green.

The current British No 1 was enjoying a promising spell with Tursunov, and had won 8 out of her 15 matches, including a spell that saw her reach the semi-finals of the Korea Open in Seoul last month, but it has been reported that although Raducanu wanted to continue the arrangement, the Russian decided to leave to work with another player.

In the past 16 months, Raducanu has had 5 coaches, despite being encouraged by many to settle down with just one, and must now search for a 6th.

Former BBC Tennis presenter Sue Barker believes the 19-year-old should team up with someone she has faith in.

“I feel she needs one person that she really trusts and believes in,” Barker recently told The Telegraph. “Every coach comes in with a different mindset, a different way of wanting to play and a different way of teaching.

“And to me that would be totally confusing. It would be disruptive before it became effective.

“But I also feel that the pressure that she’s been put under has just been immense.”

After rising to fame by winning last year’s US Open title, Raducanu has struggled with fitness and form, although in recent months there had been positive performance from the 19-year old, who reached the semi-final of the Korea Open while working alongside her latest coach, Tursunov.

The Russian is now the last in the line of past coaches, following Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson and Torben Beltz, but the 39-year-old Russian appears to be departing on his own terms and is keen to work with another, as yet unnamed, female player.

Tursunov once remarked after Richardson’s departure last September that Raducanu’s reputation for firing coaches would make him ‘tremble with fear’ if he were asked to coach the British teenager.

Raducanu posted some encouraging results under Tursunov, reaching the Last 8 in Washington, scoring one-sided victories over Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati, and mounting a run to the semi-finals in Seoul last month.

Fitness trainer Jez Green will work with Emma Raducanu, having previously helped Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem amongst others

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Green, who helped transform Murray into one of the world’s best players, is coming on board to deal with various fitness issues, including the latest wrist injury that forced her to withdraw from this week’s Transylvania Open.

Green left Murray’s team in 2014, and has since been working with some of the top players in the game, including Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem.

Raducanu has encountered a number of fitness issues in her first full career on the WTA Tour, including a left glute injury that caused her 4th mid-match retirement this year, a sore back and side pulls, a hip injury, and blisters on her hand and feet.

She has also struggled with Covid last December, and suffered a strained abdominal in Nottingham in June, which forced her off the match court after just 7 games.

After the wrist injury prompted her withdrawal from this week’s Transylvania Open, Raducanu effectively called time on her WTA season, although she reportedly will lead the British team at next month’s Billie Jean King Cup finals in Glasgow.

Green helped Murray win the US Open, a first Wimbledon title and an Olympic gold medal, and is well placed to help Raducanu address these recurrent problems.

Gareth Shelbourne, the fitness coach with whom Raducanu has worked since she was a junior, will continue to play a role, but Green, whose methods scrutinise movement patterns with emphasis on stabilising muscles and increasing strength, will oversee her off-season training block pending a possible long-term arrangement if all goes well.

Green has stated he needs 6 to 12 months to instil his ideas, which includes spells completely away from the tennis court.

“People like to speak about track work or lifting weights but this is purely, to me, an accessory to movement,” Green said says about his guiding principles to the Control the Controllables podcast. “I’m fascinated with the greats and how they move.

“The best players are always the best movers. The actual specifics of movement – where the feet place, what angles the hips are, what angles the knees are, the centre of gravity, how wide the base is.”

Raducanu has reportedly enlisted Green until the end of 2022, with the possibility of extending their arrangement into 2023.

Meanwhile, according to reports, in the shorter term Raducanu is ‘doing her best’ to play at Billie Jean King Cup Finals, which will run from 8-13 November.

Anne Keothavong, Britain’s team captain, says Raducanu will lead Britain at the 12-team event, despite the World No 68 struggling with the wrist injury.

She will be joined by Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter, as well as a 5th player who is yet to be named.

“I was literally on the phone to her this morning at the airport,” said Keothavong, according to PA. “We have the benefit of time on our side. The Billie Jean King Cup Finals isn’t for another month.

“She’s doing her best to rest up and recover, and she’s got a rehab programme in place. We’ll just have to see how it goes, and she’s got to manage it, and look after herself, which is the most important thing.

“I know she really wants to be part of this team, she had a great experience when we were in Prague. That’s great when you’ve got your top player who is saying all the right things.”



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