Andy Murray Emma Raducanu Wimbledon

Andy Murray highlights ‘difficulty’ of young players like Emma Raducanu hiring older coaches

Andy Murray believes younger players, like Emma Raducanu, hiring coaches up to 25 years older than themselves needs changing “to help take the onus off the individual.”

19-year-old British starlet Raducanu raised eyebrows when she decided to part ways with Andrew Richardson, the coach who guided her to the fourth round of Wimbledon and the US Open title both as a qualifier.

After a thorough recruitment process, the young Brit settled on three-time Grand Slam ace Angelique Kerber’s former coach Torben Beltz as her new trainer.

However, the difficulty of coaching changes isn’t just limited to younger players like Raducanu, as has been made evident by icon Simona Halep’s recent attempt to go solo.

After the Australian Open, Halep split with the recently rehired duo of Adrian Marcu and Daniel Dobre, who were appointed after long-term coach of six years Darren Cahill relinquished his position.

Halep then decided to experiment by not hiring a replacement coach as she vied to see what she could achieve on her own. However, after losing in the semi-finals of last week’s Indian Wells Masters, Halep reversed her decision.

Speaking on the current process, three-time Slam ace Andy Murray said “I don’t like it, personally. I’ve found it difficult. It’s something that, as an 18, 19, 20-year-old, you have zero experience of how to deal with those situations.

“It just feels a bit odd, employing people at 19 years old that are 20, 25 years older than you, that have way more experience and way more knowledge than you.

“It doesn’t feel like that’s how it should be. It feels like it should be the other way round or that there should be someone – a performance manager – to help take the onus off the individual.”

Murray’s concerns have previously been echoed by a number of players on both the men’s and women’s tours, indicating it is a universal conundrum.

In 2018, 20-time Slam legend Roger Federer said “it’s awkward at the beginning. Being young, paying salaries, it’s not very usual. That’s why I enjoyed the time I had support from the federation and I didn’t have to worry about these things.”

Similarly, women’s World number 29 Daria Kasatkina shared “when I spoke with athletes from other sports, they’re shocked. They’re like ‘wow, how do you do this?”

Meanwhile, World number nine Garbine Muguruza said “you have to find resources to maintain your team and to be your own little company.

“I felt the hardest was to hire people to tell you what to do, to be humble, to say ‘if I look for the best team, the best coach, I have to listen to what they say.’ Even if I am the owner of this boat, I hire a captain that is going to guide it.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.