Emma Raducanu: Johanna Konta’s ‘top 10’ mentor to coach US Open champion

Raducanu, Konta

Emma Raducanu has teamed up with Johanna Konta’s former mentor, Esteban Carril, as she continues her search for a new full-time coach.

The teenager parted ways with Andrew Richardson after winning the US Open in September and has been on the hunt for a replacement ever since.

While Richardson was pivotal in guiding the 18-year-old to an unprecedented Grand Slam title, he has not previously worked with any player inside the world’s top 100 and Raducanu stressed that she needed someone who had “professional tour experience.”

Jeremy Bates, the LTA’s head of women’s tennis, helped Raducanu with preparations at the Indian Wells Open but had prior commitments thereafter with her compatriot, Katie Boulter.

The Brit’s ongoing search for a new mentor has led some to question how attractive the role would be for coaches.

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Michael Joyce, who previously guided Maria Sharapova to a Wimbledon title, described the job as a “poisoned chalice” and warned coaches of the dangers of working with a player carrying so much expectation.

“It’s a tough one for whoever comes in and works with Emma as they won’t have that relationship and they will be under a lot of scrutiny,” he said.

But Spain’s Esteban Carril seems prepared to take on the challenge –– at least for the time being.

The 44-year-old made his name by helping fellow Brit, Konta, climb from outside the world’s top 100 into the top 10 and guided her to the semi-finals of the 2016 Australian Open.

Since the two stopped working with one another at the end of the 2016 season, Carril has worked closely with the LTA, particularly at the National Academy in Stirling, Scotland.

He has briefly worked with Raducanu before, helping to develop her service action last year. And, more recently, he has trained British number 10, Katie Swan.

Esteban Carril

Having suffered a disappointing second-round defeat in California, Raducanu’s next tournament is the Transylvanian Open in Romania next week.

This will give her another chance to win her first game since her major victory and re-ignite her chances of qualifying for the end of season WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Carril is by no means confirmed to be Raducanu’s permanent coach, though a strong performance in Romania may change that.

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