Emma Raducanu parts ways with her fifth coach in 18 months

Sebastian Sachs and Emma Raducanu - Emma Raducanu is parting ways with her fifth coach in 18 months - Getty Images/Paul Crock

Sebastian Sachs and Emma Raducanu – Emma Raducanu is parting ways with her fifth coach in 18 months – Getty Images/Paul Crock

Emma Raducanu has parted ways with her coach Sebastian Sachs after only five and a half months together.

Sachs, who was appointed last December, is the latest coach to have a short tenure in Raducanu’s camp.

Telegraph Sport understands the decision was mutual, but it comes weeks after the former US Open champion underwent three operations, including on both wrists, and revealed she would be sidelined until in September.

“I really enjoyed Seb’s coaching and working with him, it’s a shame that circumstances have made it impossible for both of us to continue at this time and we have decided to go our separate ways,” Raducanu posted on Twitter, along with a picture of her and Sachs. “I wish Seb all the best going forward.”

When Sachs took over, he became the fifth coach to work with Raducanu in 18 months, joining Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson, Torben Beltz and Dmitry Tursunov.

The coaching carousel has been a worrying feature of Raducanu’s short career, and she hasn’t been able to form a stable partnership since making the decision to drop Richardson just weeks after he helped guide her to fame in New York.

Emma Raducanu and Andrew Richardson - Getty Images/Al Bello

Emma Raducanu and Andrew Richardson – Getty Images/Al Bello

Raducanu, 20,’s time with Sachs has been fraught with injury problems. She only played 10 times on tour in six months, recording five wins and five losses, including one retirement.

Raducanu has struggled with his fitness since winning the US Open and has barely been able to string together consecutive matches without a physical ailment showing up.

As a result, she dropped out of the top 100 last month, and surgeries on her hands and an ankle ruled her out of the French Open, Wimbledon and likely most of the remaining 2023 season.

His split from German-born Sachs, whose previous experience included coaching reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and former world number 1 Victoria Azarenka, is a further blow to his plans to come back stronger from surgery.

Raducanu’s turnover: five coaches and an “invisible mentor” in two years

Nigel Sears: June-July 2021

The Sears coaching veteran had a short-term contract to facilitate Raducanu in his first season on WTA grass. Sears was previously head coach of women’s tennis at the LTA and is understood to have lobbied behind the scenes to help Raducanu secure a wild card for Wimbledon. Having previously worked with Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic, he had plenty of experience to draw on and was in Raducanu’s corner for his remarkable fourth-round run on his debut. He walked away, as planned, before the North American swing on tour.

Andrew Richardson: July-September 2021

Richardson coached Raducanu to the most unlikely US Open title in his first attempt – and was controversial almost immediately afterwards.

At the time, Raducanu said, “I really need someone right now who has had that WTA Tour experience at high levels.”

Last month, Richardson spoke out for the first time since the split and revealed he was fired via a brief phone call from Raducanu’s agent a few weeks after New York. He said suggestions that he chose to leave after his nine-week contract expired were false.

“I was keen to renegotiate the contract,” he said. “I wanted to keep going and I had a plan I wanted to put in place for Emma. This thing about ‘I wanted to go away and train my son’ isn’t true, but it seems to come up all the time.

Raducanu’s decision to withdraw from the partnership has been criticized by some of the sport’s most influential figures, including American veterans John McEnroe and Chris Evert. During a two-month period between their split – and not for the last time – Raducanu trained at events in Romania and Austria, recording two out of four wins.

Andrew Richardson celebrates Emma Raducanu's US Open triumph - Emma Raducanu's US Open-winning coach reveals the truth behind their split - Getty Images/Elsa

Andrew Richardson celebrates Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph – Emma Raducanu’s US Open-winning coach reveals the truth behind their split – Getty Images/Elsa

Torben Beltz: November 2021-April 2022

In November 2021, Telegraph Sport revealed that Raducanu had named Germany’s Torben Beltz, the former longtime coach of three-time Major champion Angelique Kerber. The intention was for Beltz to stay for the long haul, but that didn’t happen.

Raducanu’s off-season training block was ruined when she caught Covid and affected her physically for the entire season and her time with Beltz was marred by numerous physical ailments and injuries which kept her out of action at full throttle. Eventually, Beltz was fired after less than six months.

Following Raducanu’s split with Beltz, she shared that she would consult with a number of different trusted voices, instead of appointing a full-time coach.

She traveled to Madrid with Louis Cayer in her corner, the LTA’s doubles coach and Rome with Iain Bates, the LTA’s head of women’s tennis during a season on clay marked by many other injuries, this time a back problem. Raducanu conceded that she sometimes wishes she had someone to tell her what to do: “Sometimes I feel like I need a voice to, you know, just hold my hand, [say] ‘Do this, do that.’

Jane O’Donoghue: Wimbledon 2022

Raducanu’s childhood coach Jane O’Donoghue returned to the fold at the All England Club training grounds the week before Wimbledon.

A former LTA player and coach, O’Donoghue previously helped guide Raducanu’s development from age 13 to 17, but traded her tennis career for the city and works for the Royal Bank of Canada. She was described as an “invisible mentor” supporting Raducanu behind the scenes and came to his aid for Wimbledon, the highest-profile event of the season.

Raducanu was struggling with an abdominal issue ahead of Wimbledon, but with O’Donoghue in his box, Raducanu looked relaxed and completely at ease.

Dmitry Tursunov: August 2022-October 2022

Raducanu has appointed former Russian top 30 player Tursunov for a trial period. Tursunov had experience working with a number of top players, most recently Annett Kontaveit, and had a pragmatic approach.

Although her US Open title defense ended in the first round – against an inspired and fit Alize Cornet – there were positives from the summer, including victories over Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka as well than a quarter-final at the Citi Open in Washington, DC.

But further injuries – this time the first signs of a wrist problem – saw her withdraw from the Transylvania Open in the fall and then Tursunov made an early exit.

His comments since leaving the Raducanu camp paint a mixed picture. He was brilliant in his assessment of her, both as a person and as a player, calling her “obsession” with tennis a “rare” attitude combined with her natural ability. But he pointed to ‘red flags’ during contract negotiations which he says ultimately drove his decision to end his time with Raducanu.

Raducanu has enlisted offseason fitness trainer Jez Green, a man widely credited with taking Andy Murray’s athleticism to the next level in its heyday, to help with his physical issues.

The Russian coach left Emma Raducanu due to

Russian coach left Emma Raducanu due to ‘red flags’ in her side – Robert Prange/Getty Images

Sébastien Sachs: December 2022-June 2023

Sebastian Sachs became the latest to join the Raducanu team at the end of last year. Her experience with a number of top players – including Victoria Azarenka and Belinda Bencic – fits the bill that Raducanu has always said is a priority for her when looking for a coach.

However, he never really got the chance to make a huge impact as in just five and a half months Raducanu suffered from fitness issues and only played 10 matches on tour.

The three surgeries she underwent in the past month have wiped out any chance of her finishing the season on clay or grass, and will sideline her until at least September and it looks like Sachs and his side have saw the layoff as the natural time to part ways. The search for the No. 6 coach of his short career begins now.

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