British tennis has been, for many years, waiting for a new hero to arrive. After decades of waiting, Andy Murray came along and conquered Wimbledon. For British tennis, it was a real shot in the arm; a genuine Grand Slam winner who could compete, for a time, with the very best that tennis has to offer. However, the hope was that Murray would inspire a new generation of tennis fans to come along and make a new legacy within the country. Well, step forward Emma Raducanu.
The young talent shocked the tennis world when she claimed the US Open in stunning fashion. Dominating en route to winning the Final with relative ease, the amount of hype that built up around the young British star was hard to fathom. However, since then, a change to her coaching team after the US Open win has seen some inconsistent performances come out. An early exit in the Australian Open was seen as a surprise, though it was also put down to a mixture of recovering from injury and illness.
However, a former tennis great in John McEnroe was quick to raise some questions about the coaching change decision. The decision to change her coaching team from her youth coach so quickly after her landmark win was seen by some as strange. However, the decision to work with Torben Beltz, who has coached the likes of Angelique Kerber, was seen as a positive move for the young star.
McEnroe, though, isn’t so sure that it was the right idea. The American has always been quick to offer opinion on the stars of today and tomorrow within the sport. Indeed, comments he made about an exit from Wimbledon being “a little bit too much” for Raducanu were taken as criticism and was roundly denounced at the time.
That being said, his comments on the coaching changes are quite interesting.
What did John McEnroe say?
The US great was asked about what he thought of the coaching decision, and in his piece for the Daily Mail McEnroe said: “It’s going to take some time to see how she handles [the pressure], I’m sure at times it’s overwhelming. It was overwhelming for her at Wimbledon and then she had this magical run [winning 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.”
However, the American was also keen to note that he is “rooting for” Raducanu to do well, adding:
“It would be unbelievable if she’s around for the next 10 years doing well, that would be outstanding. 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.”
While some might take the critique on the coaching staff as another veiled criticism of the player, it does appear to simply just be commentary from a former tennis great.