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Emma Raducanu ‘hoping to hire Riccardo Piatti as her new coach before French Open’

Emma Raducanu ‘could have a new coaching team led by Riccardo Piatti in place before next month’s French Open’ after the US Open champion split with Torben Beltz.

The 19-year-old British star said she was seeking a ‘new training model’ and one option is hire experienced and well-respected Italian coach Piatti, who has previously worked with Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova.

Piatti’s academy boasts a number of experienced staff, including fitness trainers and physiotherapists, who could quickly form a team around Raducanu as she chases further Grand Slam success.

The Times report that negotiations with Piatti are ongoing but Raducanu’s management company, IMG, are hopeful they could be working together before the start of the French Open in Paris on May 22.

Raducanu recently travelled to Bordighera in Italy to train on clay courts at Piatti’s academy as she prepared for her first tournaments on the surface.

‘The team [at the Piatti academy] have a good set-up. It was just a good experience to see how other places operate,’ Raducanu said on April 15.

Emma Raducanu ‘hopes to begin working with new coach Riccardo Piatti’ ahead of next month’s US Open as the US Open champion seeks a fourth coach in a year

The experienced Italian Piatti has previously coached Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova

The experienced Italian Piatti has previously coached Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova

In the interim, Raducanu will use LTA coaches with the head of men’s tennis, Iain Bates, accompanying her to this week’s Madrid Open.

This is the third time in 10 months that the teenager has decided to change coaches. A trial working with Nigel Sears wasn’t extended after her last-16 defeat at Wimbledon last year.

More surprisingly, Raducanu chose not to continue her partnership with Andrew Richardson after winning at Flushing Meadows, where she came through 10 matches without dropping a set having started in the qualifying rounds.

Piatti has also worked with the likes of Ivan Ljubicic, Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic and Jannik Sinner in the past.

He coached Djokovic, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, in 2005 and 2006 when the Serb was 18. He also worked with Sharapova in 2019 and 2020.

Piatti runs an academy, where Raducanu has been practising on clay courts in recent weeks

Piatti runs an academy, where Raducanu has been practising on clay courts in recent weeks

Emma Raducanu's restless search for wisdom saw her sack her former coach, Torben Beltz

Emma Raducanu’s restless search for wisdom saw her sack her former coach, Torben Beltz

Raducanu announced the split from Beltz, after only five months working together, on Tuesday.

‘I want to thank Torben for his coaching, professionalism and dedication over the last half a year,’ said the world No 11.

‘He has a huge heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time together.

‘I feel the best direction for my development is to transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim.’

It came despite an encouraging start to her clay court career, with three wins from her first five professional matches on the surface.

This included one for Great Britain at the Billie Jean King Cup qualifier in Prague and two in Stuttgart before a defeat to world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the quarter-finals. 

Beltz (left) lasted just five months in the job, and the timing can be seen as odd to outsiders

Beltz (left) lasted just five months in the job, and the timing can be seen as odd to outsiders

British former tennis player Barry Cowan insisted that Raducanu’s next coach must be with her ‘for a long period of time.’

‘It was probably a question of when. I mean, jokingly, she started to do better so maybe a new coach was required as that’s been the theme with Emma since Wimbledon,’ Cowan told Sky Sports News.

‘I think it’s a worry, as we’ve spoken throughout this year and I’ve consistently said what I felt that Emma needs, is someone in her corner consistently and she’s not been able to have that.

‘So I guess, moving forward, it will be interesting to see who she works with but I think in terms of at this stage of any player’s career at 18, 19, 20-years-old, they are for me the most important years.

Raducanu stunned the tennis world by winning the US Open last September as a qualifier

Raducanu stunned the tennis world by winning the US Open last September as a qualifier 

‘They are the years where you need a consistent voice, generally off the court but also on the court. Emma at the moment is not going to have that as she’s looking for a new coach.

‘Obviously I don’t know the reasons why but I think that anyone that’s not involved in the sport would think ‘that’s a bit strange’.

‘Most importantly I would say it again now, whoever she hires next, this really needs to be someone that is with her for a long period of time because you can’t keep changing coaches.

‘I mean I don’t care, whatever sport you are, you can maybe get away with it once or twice but you can’t keep changing coaches every four or five months and think long term that’s going to be a benefit.’ 

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