Billie Jean King’s advice to Emma Raducanu: ‘Get a psychotherapist and get away from people with agendas’

Emma Raducanu Credit: Alamy
Emma Raducanu Credit: Alamy

Tennis icon Billie Jean King believes Emma Raducanu would benefit from working with a sports psychotherapist while she also urged the 2021 US Open champion to only work with people “who have no agenda”.

Raducanu enjoyed a fairytale run at the US Open in New York last year when she became the first qualifier – man or woman – to win a Grand Slam, but she has failed to replicate that title-winning form this year.

Her title defence at the US Open ended in the first round and, as a result, she slumped from just outside the top 10 in the WTA Rankings to outside the top 80, although she has since climbed back to No 76.

Since winning the US Open, she has only once won three matches in a row – at the Korea Open in September – while her one highlight of a disappointing 2022 season came at the Cincinnati Open when she beat former world No 1s Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in the first two rounds.

The 19-year-old has also struggled with several injuries this campaign, including back problems, muscle issues and a wrist injury. She ended her 2022 campaign after she was forced to pull out of Great Britain’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals squad this week due to a wrist problem.

Twelve-time Grand Slam singles champion King urged Raducanu to start seeing a psychotherapist.

“Now I think that she needs to have space and time and talk to people she trusts,” the tennis legend said in an interview with Reuters.

“I would hope she has a psychotherapist, I think they’re very helpful in hearing yourself. I’ve been going forever. It really helped my life.”

Raducanu is currently looking for her fifth coach in under two years after Dmitry Tursunov decided to work with Belinda Bencic. The teenager reportedly wanted to continue working with the Russian, but he decided to quit as “there were some red flags that just couldn’t be ignored”.

King also advised the “bright” and “level-headed” Raducanu to only work with “people she can trust”.

“I hope she gets people she can trust, who have no agenda. She needs to get away from people who have agendas, like ‘I wanna coach you, I wanna do this’ forget that,” the American said.

“She needs to be herself and she’s very bright, actually very level-headed. I’m really impressed with her as a human being.”

READ MORE: Former British No 1 gives her verdict as Emma Raducanu’s injury woes continue

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