Emma Raducanu charging fans $2,000 for online tennis coaching sessions

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu

Emma Raducanu is filling her injury-enforced time off the court by offering her fans online tennis lessons — as long as they are happy to fork out $2,000 a go.

Former US Open champion Raducanu has at least three months to kill after undergoing three separate surgeries which will prevent her from competing until at least September. But that will not stop her from giving tailored tennis feedback to paying fans through an online subscription app that also boasts some of the biggest names in sport.

The 20-year-old has parted ways with five coaches in the past two years, most recently Sebastian Sachs last week, but she is keen to hand out advice to the average tennis enthusiast in exchange for a hefty fee.

Through a partnership with American online platform Airwayz, which she announced in January while returning from her ankle injury, Raducanu has a video channel which offers fans an insight into her life behind the scenes for $5 a month. It includes a teaser video for a vlog posted this week, which details her “unorthodox prep” for the Australian Open last January, where she had “10 days to try to get my ankle match-ready from scratch”.

If fans then want to get tailored advice on their own forehand or serve from the former world No 10, she can deliver a video analysis within 15 working days for $2,000 (£1,600), with all proceeds made by Raducanu donated to the LTA Youth Programme.

“You can send in a video of your technique and receive expert feedback from Emma herself,” the site says. “Within 15 business days, you’ll receive a complete review of your technique in either a written or video format, tailored specifically to your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from one of the best players in the world.”

Airwayz boasts an athlete roster that includes footballers Jack Grealish, Gareth Bale, Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta and two-time women’s World Cup winner Alex Morgan.

For Raducanu, it adds to a substantial multi-million pound partnerships portfolio that includes big-name brands such as Porsche, British Airways and Dior. But while Raducanu may be the most marketable athlete in British sport, she could wake up on Monday morning as the third-best woman in British tennis.

British No 3 Katie Boulter only needs to reach the quarter-finals in Surbiton to go past Raducanu’s points tally, and become the top-ranked woman in the country for the first time.

If she does that, and Harriet Dart reaches the final or Katie Swan wins the title, then there is an outside chance Raducanu will find herself third in line to British tennis’s crown.

Katie Boulter - Getty Images/Christopher Lee
Katie Boulter - Getty Images/Christopher Lee

It is a long way to fall, considering it was just 11 months ago that Raducanu first broke into the world’s top 10, but somewhat unavoidable as her season has been curtailed by various injuries, leading to last month’s surgery on both wrists and her ankle.  This drastic course of action is viewed as the best thing for her long-term career hopes, but for now she will have to deal with the reality of sliding down the rungs of world tennis.

On Monday she will lose the 70 points that she earned for reaching last year’s French Open second round and, in doing so, will drop to at least 126th in the world. She does so at a particularly low moment for women’s tennis, as last month marked the first time in 15 years that the top 100 does not include a British player.

Jodie Burrage, the current British No 2, had a chance of overtaking Raducanu and making her top 100 debut on Monday if she had won the tournament in Surbiton. In the end though she crashed out in the first round against compatriot Lily Yuriko Miyazaki, falling to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 loss, her first match back after a bone stress in her upper arm.

Afterwards she said receiving the news on Tuesday night that London Irish, the club of her professional rugby player boyfriend Ben White, would be going into administration “played on her mind”.

“It’s really sad what’s happened to the club. Not just the players but the staff and everyone else. It wasn’t easy last night, I don’t actually think it hit him until this morning really. It’s going to be an adjustment for us wherever he goes. So it’s tough and I think it played on my mind a little bit today. It’s been quite stressful the last few weeks.”