Roger Federer’s former coach feels Emma Raducanu is in ‘trouble’

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Roger Federer’s former coach Paul Annacone has questioned Emma Raducanu’s post-US Open exit comments after the Brit claimed the target will be off her back following her first-round loss. Raducanu came into the US Open with a weight on her shoulders after winning last year’s major at Flushing Meadows in historic fashion.

While the British No 1 hasn’t enjoyed great success since, the US Open was seen as a chance by some to get back to the kind of form she showed last year. But Alize Cornet proved too good for Raducanu in the opening round with the Brit falling to a straight-sets defeat.

Speaking after the loss, Raducanu indicated that her impending drop in the rankings could count as a blessing in disguise and she feels that she can almost start afresh on the tour. But Annacone, who coached Federer for three years between 2010 and 2013, believes that kind of mindset from Raducanu can lead to serious “trouble” down the line.

“I don’t believe in that,” Annacone said on Tennis Channel. “I believe for every athlete, that’s where you get yourself in trouble and I think it’s the coaches job and the team’s job around them.

“What’s happened happened. You’re not defending anything. You’re trying to create and grow and add more things to it.

“As soon as an athlete starts thinking, ‘I’ve got to defend’ or ‘my points are coming off’ or ‘I’m this close to top 10 or top five’ – that’s when all the trouble starts. When you’re a teenager and get in that situation, I think you really have to be careful if you’re around them to make sure and say, ‘you did great, that’s awesome, we enjoyed that. Now we’re building again’.

“So I think in a weird way, this will help her because her mindset is that unfortunately so she will relieve some pressure. But let’s remember, she’s so young. To me it’s irrelevant. She started off great, she’s gonna be a great player, there’s bumps in the road and it was a tough day yesterday, but that’s ok life goes on.”

Raducanu came into the US Open ranked No 11 in the world, but will drop significantly lower to around 80th after the tournament. The 19-year-old was defending 2,040 points from her historic US Open win last year.

But she seemed unfazed about the prospect of almost starting again after a whirlwind first 12 months on the WTA Tour. “In a way [I’m] happy because it’s a clean slate,” Raducanu said.

“I’m going to drop down the rankings. Climb my way back up. In a way the target will be off my back slightly. I just have another chance to claw my way back up there. I’ve been doing some really good work in the last six weeks especially. Just looking forward to kind of putting more of those weeks together consistently, then we’ll see what happens.”

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