John McEnroe has questioned Emma Raducanu’s unusual approach to tennis after her disappointing exit at the French Open.
Tennis legend John McEnroe has questioned Emma Raducanu’s “unbelievable” coaching merry-go-round after the young gun was knocked out in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday night.
Raducanu, 19, lost in three sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus. The British 12th seed, making her professional debut this year at Roland Garros, had also lost to 47th-ranked Sasnovich at Indian Wells in 2021 in her first match since her shock US Open victory.
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“After the first set, I thought I couldn’t win so I just played it point by point,” said the 28-year-old Sasnovich.
Raducanu hit 33 unforced errors and paid the price for not converting five break points in the third game of the decider.
Raducanu didn’t have a coach with her in Paris, and is instead trialling a new training method where she will consult with multiple experts, rather than rely on the specialist advice of one coach.
The reigning US Open champion recently split with former coach Torben Beltz after just five months — following a tumultuous few months in 2021 that also saw her end coaching partnerships with Nigel Sears and Andrew Richardson.
McEnroe weighed in on the unusual situation after Raducanu’s defeat at Roland Garros.
“Honestly, if I won the US Open having gone through qualifying, I wouldn’t change my coach at least for the next year, so I don’t understand that move,” he said, as quoted by The Telegraph.
“Obviously her parents are involved and they know more than I know. But this idea of a revolving door of coaches – I just don’t think that’s good for any player, much less so for a player at this stage of her career.
“We have to wait and see and hopefully she finds someone she can stick with for a while.”
Raducanu and Sears went their separate ways after her incredible run at Wimbledon last year, then Richardson was sacked following her astonishing Grand Slam triumph in New York.
“She is still very young,” McEnroe added. “She has sort of put herself in a difficult position because a lot is expected of her and with the people around her, we are not sure if she is comfortable with them just yet. Hopefully in the next year or two she will find that.
“We have got to keep a little perspective here. At Wimbledon last year she was unable to finish a match because of stress and it got to be too much for her. Then she came out and did something that no one has ever done – man or woman – in 150 years of tennis, coming from the qualifying and winning (the US Open).
“All of a sudden, there is this pressure on her, this expectation, that has gotten a little bit overwhelming as well. She has changed coaches, three, four or five times which is unbelievable for someone who has just come off winning a major.”
Raducanu, who suffered a back injury leading into Roland Garros, has registered just two wins against top 50 players this year. Regardless, the teenager successfully reached at least the second round on her debut at each of the four majors.
She will return home to Kent to see her parents before starting the build-up to the grass-court season.
“It’s gonna be nice to be back home and play on grass,” Raducanu said.
“Looking forward to compete in front of my home fans. I’m not really sure of what the atmosphere will feel like.”