Emma Raducanu family coaching claim scrutinised as Brit dubbed 'extra-curricular'

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Emma Raducanu

Raducanu parted ways with Torben Beltz last month, after just six months together after deciding to “transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim.” It leaves the US Open champion without a head coach, though she is currently travelling with the head of women’s tennis at the LTA, Iain Bates, and receiving remote guidance from Louis Cayer, whose main focus is on doubles stars Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski, and has dubbed the teenager his “extra-curricular” project.

And it appears that Raducanu will have trouble finding a coach if she continues to stick to her family’s approach, as Betton scrutinised their thought process following a claim from a “source close to the family” in a BBC article that her family want someone who can “challenge her tennis IQ”, believing “there are very few people who can do that”.

But the family’s reported mentality towards coaching has been scrutinised by Betton, who believes her intelligence has no correlation with her needs for a coach. “Emma is clearly an incredibly smart young woman but does that mean that she doesn’t need a conventional coach?” he told The Telegraph.

’s family approach to her coach selection has been rubbished by British coach Calvin Betton. The mentor to multiple British players on the Challenger and Futures circuit criticised the idea that the 19-year-old’s tennis IQ was too high for most coaches. Raducanu is currently without a mentor after axing Torben Beltz but is receiving guidance from the LTA’s Louis Cayer as an “extra-curricular”.

Raducanu parted ways with Torben Beltz last month, after just six months together after deciding to “transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim.” It leaves the US Open champion without a head coach, though she is currently travelling with the head of women’s tennis at the LTA, Iain Bates, and receiving remote guidance from Louis Cayer, whose main focus is on doubles stars Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski, and has dubbed the teenager his “extra-curricular” project.

And it appears that Raducanu will have trouble finding a coach if she continues to stick to her family’s approach, as Betton scrutinised their thought process following a claim from a “source close to the family” in a BBC article that her family want someone who can “challenge her tennis IQ”, believing “there are very few people who can do that”.

But the family’s reported mentality towards coaching has been scrutinised by Betton, who believes her intelligence has no correlation with her needs for a coach. “Emma is clearly an incredibly smart young woman but does that mean that she doesn’t need a conventional coach?” he told The Telegraph.

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“That’s like saying ‘My kid has a remarkable intellect, she doesn’t need to go to school, because she is much smarter than the teachers’. Perhaps she is. But she is also still a kid.” The experienced British coach also pointed out that, while Raducanu may have a high tennis IQ, the role of a coach went well beyond just helping her out with her game in technical terms.

He continued: “The truth is that only 15 per cent of coaching is about the mechanics of strokeplay. There’s a lot of quiet guidance and support and mentoring that goes into the job. Sometimes it’s about coaxing stuff out from your player at dinner after a match. You’re asking questions like ‘What could you have done better on that point?’ Or ‘What other options did you have in that moment?’ Or ‘If that was a 10 out of 10 , what would an 11 look like?’”

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For now, the teenager will continue to be accompanied by Iain Bates at the French Open, where she is making her debut. She will also be joined by her physio Will Herbert and hitting partner Raymond Sarmiento, leaving her with no shortage of a typical tennis ‘team’ at the only Grand Slam she is yet to play.

The next big challenge will then begin at Wimbledon, where Raducanu will be defending ranking points on the pro tour for the first time following her run to the round-of-16 as the 338th-ranked wildcard last year. And the pressure will only grow at the US Open, where she is the defending champion with 2,000 of her 2,910 points coming from last year’s unprecedented title win. But the teenager has already proven she can thrive in an unknown situation, as she did at her first two Major tournaments less than a year ago.



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