Top tennis coaches warned mentoring Emma Raducanu is a "poisoned chalice"

By Daniel Moxon

The role of Emma Raducanu 's next coach may not be something many of the bigger names in tennis want to take on, according to one trainer currently active in the women's game.

The 18-year-old shot to stardom by winning the US Open last month, shocking the tennis world as she became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.

But less than two weeks later it was announced that she had split from her coach Andrew Richardson, before going on to lose her first match back on the court since her success in New York.

Before being dumped out in the first round of the Indian Wells Masters, Raducanu said she "really needs someone right now that has had that WTA Tour experience at the high levels".

But coach Michael Joyce believes it's a job many would prefer to avoid after the way she ended her partnership with Richardson.

Emma Raducanu lost to Alaksandra Sasnovich in the first round at the Indian Wells Masters (SIPA USA/PA Images)

"I was really surprised with the wording of the statement that was released when Emma announced she was splitting with Andrew Richardson, saying she felt she needed someone with Tour-level experience," the American told The Sun.

"I didn't like the statement. If you have a good coach and it works well, then you'd think you would want to stick with them. Why would you want a big-name coach?

"She's a great player but it’s going to be a tough job for the next coach, as expectations are high.

"If she goes to the Australian Open next year and goes out early, people will say it's because of the coach."

Joyce knows all about what it's like to work with a starlet of the game who is suddenly thrusted into stardom after a big win.

He was Maria Sharapova 's coach for more than a decade, helping her to her first Grand Slam win at Wimbledon when she was just 17 and overseeing her rise to the world number one ranking after two more major successes.

But the 48-year-old says the situations are different, as he had spent a lot of time with Sharapova and they were able to get comfortable with one another, while any new coach for Raducanu will be coming in cold.

"I'd known Maria for quite a long time before coaching her, as I was her hitting partner. We got to know each other, we were on a journey," he said.

"It's a tough one for whoever comes in and works with Emma as they won't have that relationship and they will be under a lot of scrutiny."

Was Emma Raducanu right to split from her old coach? Let us know in the comments section

Andrew Richardson was Emma Raducanu's coach at the US Open (Getty Images)

Joyce added Raducanu should speak to Sharapova and ask for advice about how to cope with the pressure of winning a Grand Slam title at such a young age.

"It's going to be much harder for her now with so much hype and attention," he continued.

"Players can get on a hot streak, get in a zone and a bubble where everything just seems to come together. It's how you react when that comes to an end.

"There are likely to be hiccups with such a young player, with expectations high and a superstar status to get used to.

"It can only help Emma to speak to Maria so I would encourage her to do that."


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