Emma Raducanu’s parents must be ‘ready’ for new mentor as Boris Becker weighs in
Boris Becker has urged Emma Raducanu’s parents to prepare themselves to bring in a new mentor. Like Raducanu, the German tennis legend also won his first Grand Slam title as a teenager. And he noted that there may be some names who can guide her beyond her breakthrough after drawing on his own experience.
Raducanu made history when she won the 2021 US Open, making her the first qualifier ever to lift a Grand Slam title. She was just 18 years old and the world No 150 at the time, and was playing in her fourth-ever professional event.
The victory propelled her into the big time but the Brit has since found herself playing catch-up as she continues to navigate her way on the pro circuit while dealing with multiple injury setbacks. And she has now received some advice from fellow teenage Major champion Becker, who told Raducanu and her parents to prepare themselves to bring in a new mentor.
“I’m not in her inner circle so I don’t know all the things that went off, although I’ve seen the coaching changes,” Becker told the Guardian, discussing Raducanu’s coaching decisions – as she went through five in the space of 18 months. “But as a young woman, all of a sudden being on top of the mountain, you have to really dig in and find the resources and the team around you to guide you through the next 10 years.”
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The retired pro did back Raducanu to get back to her Grand Slam-winning best but admitted it was normal to struggle after sudden success at such a young age. “It’s about mindset and talent, team, approach and circumstances,” he continued.
“She’s not the first one who wasn’t able to do it. And she won’t be the last. But if she was good enough to win a Grand Slam [title] once, she’s good enough to win one again.” Becker himself received guidance from Ion Tiriac after winning Wimbledon at the age of 17.
The Romanian businessman and former tennis pro helped a teenage Becker navigate his overnight superstardom when he became the first unseeded player to win at SW19. But the six-time Major winner noted that his established relationship with Tiriac helped after his Wimbledon glory.
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“Ion was an extremely important mentor because he’d been there before,” he said, before admitting that Raducanu could still find her own mentor. “And yeah, there are a couple of people – but not many – who could help her.
“But, first of all, she has to be ready for it. Her parents have to be ready for it. And if that’s not the case, then nobody can help.” For now, Raducanu is focusing on recovery after undergoing three surgeries in a two-week span.
She will now miss the French Open, Wimbledon and likely the US Open. The former world No 10 had been struggling with wrist injuries since last summer, opting to hand both hands operated on as well as the ankle she hurt in Auckland earlier this year.
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