British professional tennis player Emma Raducanu’s breakout year is over following a disappointing three set loss, 6-1, 6-7, 7-5, to China’s Wang Xinyu at Linz Open.
Raducanu arrived as a top seed on Tuesday the 9th of Nov. 2021 for tennis showdown, but Wang was inspired. The game kicked off the first set with Wang slamming 13 winners and only three unforced errors, at the second set Emma offered bucket loads of determination and courage on which she quickly took on a tie break, but the issue with her hip surfaced in the middle of the deciding set, and left her unable to move freely. Even when she went for medical break, it wasn’t enough to resolve the problem.
“I thought Xinyu played extremely well, especially in that first set, and I’m proud of the way I fought to try to get back into the match. Everything was going her way and she was playing extremely well, so a lot of credit to her for keeping that level out there on the court. In the third set, I had a hip spasm in the first point of that game and from there I was just fighting to try to stay in it,” Raducanu said after the match as reported by BBC Sport.
The promising teenager who broke into the world’s top 10 female tennis players and British number one earlier this week and entered the tournament as the top seed said earlier before the game: “I have been quite busy since the US open, I have been enjoying everything but I made it very, very clear to every single person in my team that I was not going to cancel any training session or practice session for any off court commitment. That was a non-negotiable for me”.
It can be recalled that Raducanu has been traveling for games without a coach after parting ways with Andrew Richardson in September, but that is coming to a fast end as she announced Torben Beltz as her new coach after the game. She has been looking for a well experienced WTA tour coach and Beltz fits this bill having worked with Kerber and Croatia’s Donna Vekie many years.
“Obviously he [Torben Beltz] has worked with Kerber, who is such a great player and won three slams,” Raducanu was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. .
She added: “I think that experience definitely helps, with someone as in experienced as me. He can help guide me, through whom I feel really confident about… He’s also a really positive, cheerful guy who brings great energy to the team and I think that’s also important when you are travelling on the road for quite a long time on the tour.
“It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach – I’m definitely very excited to work with him throughout the pre-season and into next year. Things are looking up, it’s a very positive feeling and I’m excited about all the work that is to come,” Raducanu said.
Although Raducanu now has a new coach she was smart to make quick self appraisal, identifying where she needs improvement.
“A lot has happened this year,” she told BBC Sport after last night’s match.
“[To have gone from] where I was in January, February, March compared to now, I mean, I would have taken it. But I think that I obviously learned how much I room I have to develop physically and what playing on the tour week-in, week-out actually means. Because clearly my body is still trying to get up to speed. I was honestly quite happy with the level that I put out and tried to fight back. But all these players are good and the margins are so fine. Actual experience is something that I’ve always been lacking, and currently am, a little bit.”
With a new coach by Raducanu’s side , as well as her family and friends’ love, her 19th birthday which is on the 13th of November promises to be a grand one.
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