Retired Austrian tennis star Barbara Schett has put forward the theory that Emma Raducanu’s split with former coach Torben Beltz may have been down to cultural differences. The teenage Brit announced that she and the German coach would part ways last month as she ventures further into the clay-court season without a conventional set-up.
Since joining Raducanu’s camp in November last year, Beltz failed to inspire positive results on the court with numerous first-round exits. The tide only began to turn in Stuttgart at the end of April, but the 19-year-old announced her decision to part ways shortly afterwards.
“You have to work with someone for a few months to see if you’re fitting or not,” Schett told Eurosport. “That could have been cultural differences – Torben is from Germany and Emma is from the UK.
“But I think even though Emma has had a few coaches along the way in the last year or two, she has been really inhaling some sort of information from each one of them, which actually makes her a better tennis player. I think that shows in her form now.”
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Positivity began to creep back into Raducanu’s prospects this season when she battled to the Stuttgart Open quarter-finals last month. She put up an admirable fight when knocked out by world No 1 Iga Swiatek, too, bowing out 4-6 4-6.
The split with Beltz has since been followed up with more success at the Madrid Open which began with a spirited performance against Tereza Martincova. Raducanu had to bounce back from 2-5 down in the first set, but she had no such trouble in her second-round match against Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.
“At the moment, it looks like she’s really on the right track,” added the former world No 8. “She’s happy to learn. She’s like a sponge. She sucks all the information in. Why shouldn’t she play good tennis on clay?
“Once that movement is good on the clay and she knows how to slide [she’ll be even better], she’s an absolutely phenomenal athlete. I certainly didn’t expect her to go the way she’s doing now, that’s for sure.”