‘Let these kids grow up’ – Seven-time Grand Slam winner says Raducanu can find her own path
Mats Wilander feels Emma Raducanu ‘needs to have fun’ and ‘develop on her own’ instead of being ‘shaped’ by coaches, which could prove detrimental to her development.
19-year-old Brit Emma Raducanu shocked the world when she won the US Open as a qualifier at just 18 years old. However, she has since struggled for form and recently appointed a new coach in Torben Beltz.
Beltz previously coached former World number one and three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, guiding her to two of her three Grand Slams.
Speaking with Eurosport, Former World number one Wilander said “it wasn’t like we didn’t know who she was. We knew she had a huge game.
“They [young players] need to play the way they want to play, and they need to find out how good they are, and they need to ride the wave of youth and confidence for as far as they can before you start hiring coaches that have helped players to win Grand Slams.
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Wilander also took an opposing view to that of England rugby coach Eddie Jones. Jones received heavy criticism from the tennis community after he blamed Raducanu’s loss of form after her US Open victory on the distractions of fame.
However, Wilander believes that “she needs to have fun, she needs to be allowed to do what she wants to do off and on the tennis court, and she needs to develop in her own time and not to force coaches on her.
“I’m not saying that Torben Beltz is not… he’s a great coach, he obviously coached Angie Kerber for a long time. I believe it helped her win Grand Slam tournaments, but Angie Kerber knew how to do that anyway.”
“I just feel it’s unnecessary to take coaches that have experience when you are dealing with an 18 year old who is fresh, who is so full of life.
“We’ve got to let these kids grow up before you try to shape them. Otherwise, there’s a very, very big chance that people are going to be what stops Emma [Raducanu] from developing into a great player.
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