Emma Raducanu urged to 'plug gaps' in her game after US Open win

Emma Raducanu is urged to ‘plug gaps’ in her game by former British No 1 Annabel Croft… who warns US Open champion she must now ‘cope with all these changes in her life’ ahead of her Royal Albert Hall lap of honour

  • Emma Raducanu will play in Britain for the first time since Wimbledon on Sunday
  • Her season ended with second round loss at Upper Austria Ladies in November
  • US Open champion recruited coach Torben Beltz earlier this month 
  • Croft said Raducanu is going through her ‘apprenticeship’ as a player now

Eleven weeks after winning the US Open, Emma Raducanu will get her lap of honour on Sunday afternoon at the Champions Tennis event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Her lunchtime exhibition match against Romania’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse, which sold out quickly, will be the first time she has played in Britain since she was helped off Wimbledon’s court one following her fourth round retirement against Ajla Tomljanovic in early July.

The Bromley-based 19-year-old has been through plenty since, including playing a tournament in Romania where world No 85 Ruse became her practice partner and friend, hence her invitation to play at the Albert Hall.

Emma Raducanu became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam tournament since 1977

Raducanu has had a relatively quiet month in an extraordinary year. After wrapping up her official tournament schedule in Austria, she took a Caribbean holiday, since when she has been going through a physical training block.

As pointed out by former British No 1 Annabel Croft, Raducanu’s astonishing rise has largely seen her do things back to front and now she needs to fill in the gaps in her development. 

‘She’s going back to the beginning, doing it in reverse and going through her apprenticeship now,’ said Croft, speaking this week in her role with Game4Padel, the business promoting the fast growing racket sport.

‘It’s an extraordinary situation that most players she’s facing have three, four, maybe 10 years more experience than her.


The teenager pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament 

The Brit has since struggled for form in the three tournaments she entered after the US Open

‘Now she’s going to have to go through all these matches, where she’s going to have to learn about different situations, which will take time. She’s so young but I think she’s intelligent enough to cope with it.’

One thing Raducanu did resolve this month was recruiting a new coach, Torben Beltz, and Croft believes the German will be a good fit. She added: ‘He’ll be very good, he’s incredibly experienced. How long will they stick together? 

‘I think there’s a feeling that none of these coaches are going to be given long-term contracts. So we’ll see how long it goes. I think everything will be OK with her.

‘There will will be enormous pressure building towards Wimbledon and then the US Open but she will cope with all these changes in her life.’

Raducanu’s season came to a disappointing end when she lost in Linz earlier this month

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