Emma Raducanu‘s near-flawless run at the 2021 US Open earned her praise from all corners of the tennis fraternity. The youngster’s triumph has catapulted her into the spotlight and her game has come under scrutiny of late.
Mark Petchey, the 18-year-old’s former coach, was the latest to give his assessment of Raducanu’s game. Petchey, a former player himself, said that while he did not expect Raducanu to win a Slam this early in her career, he believed she had the makings of a top player.
The 51-year-old highlighted the “intensity” that Raducanu brings to her matches as one of the major reasons behind her success. He said the youngster’s movement was one of the most underrated aspects of her “efficient” game.
“Yeah, just intensity to every point,” Petchey told Tennis.com. “Every point she brings the same thing. She plays her best tennis under pressure.”
“[Raducanu] backs herself, moves much better than people give her credit for — it’s very efficient, and so it looks very easy,” he continued. “But, she moves incredibly effectively on the court.”
Petchey also pointed out how Raducanu’s efficient serving helped her a lot during her US Open run. The Brit, however, was more impressed with his former charge’s return of serve, which he likened to Victoria Azarenka’s.
Petchey added that there was still room for improvement in Raducanu’s game. He said that while her technique was “very good”, her court positioning could use some work.
“The US Open, she was serving very effectively, got a lot from it,” Petchey pointed out. “That was a big focus for us. I still think that will improve massively. Her return is one of the best, very [Victoria] Azarenka-like. There’s not a lot of holes in her game.”
“Some of it will be small, and some of it will be significant serving, volleying, and her ability to move into net,” he added. “Not the actual technique—her technique is very good, I think she sometimes just doesn’t know where to stand.”
“I think that Emma Raducanu will go through a lot coaches during her career” – Mark Petchey
Mark Petchey also weighed in on Raducanu’s coaching situation. The 18-year-old Brit split from her coach Andrew Richardson following her US Open triumph and has been looking for a permanent coach ever since.
Petchey reckons it will be a tough task coaching an 18-year-old Grand Slam champion. He believes Raducanu is likely to go through several coaching changes over the course of her career, but was quick to add that people should avoid getting “hung up” on such matters.
“Especially when dealing with something so unique as an 18-year-old who’s won a Grand Slam and also wants to have a good conversation,” he said. “And I think, to be honest, that Emma will go through a lot coaches during her career.”
“People need to understand that there will be a lot of collaborations during her career, rather than the ‘hiring’ and ‘firing’ of a coach,” he added. “It feels so personal, and people need to stop getting hung up on hiring and firing.”