John McEnroe questions Emma Raducanu again over decision to change coach

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Emma Raducanu’s Australian Open run ended in the second round (AFP via Getty Images)
Emma Raducanu’s Australian Open run ended in the second round (AFP via Getty Images)

John McEnroe has questioned Emma Raducanu’s decision to change tennis coach after he early departure from Australian Open.

The 19-year-old was beaten in the second round in Melbourne by Montenegrin Danka Kovinic, losing in three sets after suffering from blister trouble early on in the contest.

This was Raducanu’s debut in Australia, having the won the US Open last August in sensational circumstances, taking every single set from the qualifiers onwards as he secured one of the most incredible grand slam victories in the history of the sport.

In the aftermath of securing the championship at Flushing Meadows, though, Raducanu opted to drop coach Andrew Richardson in favour of the experienced German Torben Beltz.

“It’s going to take some time to see how she handles [the pressure], I’m sure at times it’s overwhelming,” McEnroe told the Daily Mail. “It was overwhelming for her at Wimbledon and then she had this magical run [at the US Open].

“I don’t know why she then decided to change coaches. You would think if a coach took her to the US Open Championship that you wouldn’t say that I need a new coach.”

McEnroe came in for strong criticism at Wimbledon last year when he suggested Raducanu was not mentally strong enough to compete in top tier tennis, suggesting she had retired because she couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in front of the crowd on Court 1 during her Round-of-16 match against Ajla Tomljanović. Now, though, he says he is “pulling for her.”

“It would be unbelievable if she’s around for the next 10 years doing well, that would be outstanding,” he said. “She seems like a sweet girl, she’s got game, charisma, she’s got everything! I’m pulling for her, it’s not going to be easy, I’m sure she’s trying to figure it all out right now.”

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