US Open champion Emma Raducanu confirms she will work with 44-year-old German coach Torben Beltz in preparation for the 2022 season; she says: “You guys cracked it! It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach”
Last Updated: 10/11/21 12:00am
British No 1 Emma Raducanu has confirmed that her new coach will be Angelique Kerber’s long-time mentor Torben Beltz.
The German will link up with Raducanu as she prepares for the start of the 2022 season and the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.
The US Open champion has been searching for a coach since deciding not to extend a short-term partnership with Andrew Richardson following her stunning New York triumph which saw her become the first qualifier in tennis history to win a Grand Slam title.
“It’s obviously a great privilege to be working with such an experienced coach,” she said after her stellar season came to a disappointing end with defeat by Chinese qualifier Wang Xinyu in Linz on Tuesday.
“I’m definitely very excited to work with him throughout the pre-season and into next year so things are looking up and it’s a very, very positive feeling, very excited about all the work that is to come.”
Beltz was Kerber’s coach for a decade from her first steps on the professional tour, helping her reach the top 10 before they split for the first time in 2013.
But it was not long before they were reunited and Beltz was by Kerber’s side for the best campaign of her career in 2016, when she won Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and US Open, reached the Wimbledon final, claimed an Olympic silver medal and became world No 1.
They split again at the end of 2017, with Kerber hiring Wim Fissette and winning a first Wimbledon title the following year, while Beltz began working with Croatian Donna Vekic and helped her break into the top 20 for the first time.
That association ended, somewhat acrimoniously, last summer, with Beltz returning to work alongside Kerber for a third time.
The German’s career appeared to be on the wane but Kerber has been resurgent this season, reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals and briefly returning to the top 10.
The 33-year-old revealed on Monday that she has again parted ways with Beltz, paving the way for him to begin work with Raducanu.
“He brings a lot of experience. He’s obviously worked with Kerber who is such a great player and has done extremely well and won three Slams and I think that experience definitely helps with someone as inexperienced as me so he can help guide me through, which I feel really confident about,” said the Kent teenager.
“Also he’s a really positive, cheerful guy who brings great energy to the team so I think that’s also important when you’re travelling on the road for quite a long time on the tour.”
Beltz is known as a compassionate and likeable presence on the WTA Tour rather than a hard taskmaster, but the all-round sports fan also puts a lot of emphasis on physical work, which Raducanu has highlighted as the key area she needs to improve.
In response to England rugby head coach Eddie Jones suggesting “distractions” have halted her progress, Raducanu said: “I’m not really sure who or what that means. I haven’t followed any of the news. I stay away from that, so I don’t really know what this is about.”
Raducanu says she plans to take part in the Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of this month before taking her first holiday in seven years.
“It will be nice to have the opportunity to go somewhere,” Raducanu said. “That was a long weekend to Switzerland with my parents. I’m hoping to make it a little bit longer than that.”
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