Emma Raducanu’s former coach Dmitry Tursunov has described ‘red flags’ in his side that prompted him to end their partnership.
Earlier this month, during her latest coaching change, the former US Open champion announced Tursunov’s departure. They had been working together for only two and a half months.
Russian-born Tursunov immediately joined Olympic champion Belinda Bencic – the third player he has coached this year. Despite the rapid turnover, he insisted a rival bid with Bencic was not the reason.
“I was walking away from Emma, whether or not there was another [player] available or not,” Tursunov said in an interview with TennisMajors.com. “We didn’t agree on the terms and there were red flags that just couldn’t be ignored.”
Tursunov praised Raducanu despite the short-lived tenure, which lasted throughout the American hardcourt swing. He said the 19-year-old “doesn’t act like she’s a superstar” and has a “rare” attitude towards tennis.
While he wouldn’t divulge who ultimately made the training decisions in Raducanu’s camp, he suggested that securing a guaranteed long-term deal and ‘impressing’ the extended squad ultimately ended up proved to be the biggest obstacle.
“Our trial period was over at the US Open but I stayed, trying to see if there would be a way to impress the team,” he said with a laugh. “I really wanted it to work. First of all, she’s absolutely awesome, she’s a hard worker and she doesn’t think or act like she’s a superstar. She’s got a thirst for betterment and is obsessed with tennis. I think that’s a pretty rare combination. It was a very difficult decision for me to leave a player that I love and respect.
“I felt it was going to be an interesting project, but a very long-term project, and as a coach you want to have the belief that you’re going to work during this period. But of course, with her coaching situation, there is now a thought that crosses the mind of every coach… I could have stayed, I could have agreed with whatever his team was offering, but deep down I felt like it wasn’t. was not the right thing to do. I wanted to stay, but logically I felt I had to leave, I felt there would be problems later and I wanted to avoid them for my own peace. of mind.
Tursunov was Raducanu’s fourth official coach in the past 15 months, along with Nigel Sears, Andrew Richardson and Torben Beltz. She has yet to find a firm replacement, but has signed Andy Murray’s former fitness trainer Jez Green in the meantime. The hope is that Green can help Raducanu become more physically robust, after a season that saw her withdraw from games and tournaments due to injury on numerous occasions.
Despite Raducanu’s early success, Tursunov believes it would be “probably a two-and-a-half-year project” to help her reach the top of the game and that she needs stability in her coaching corner to achieve that.
“It’s going to take time, but like I told him and almost everyone in his team: I think it’s enough to have one voice and try a little bit,” Tursunov said. “The only difficult thing with her – which you actually have to do with every player – is trying to change certain things: she believed she had to play a certain way. So I was trying to convince her to change that mindset and changing his beliefs about his own game… That’s what I was trying to do and there was maybe a minor difficulty with that but I think we got past that and were on track, and she was starting to trust me a little more, or so I thought.