Emma Raducanu’s coach claims ‘sky is the limit’ as Brit plots another Wimbledon shock
Wimbledon teen sensation Emma Raducanu was “born to play tennis” and has the drive to reach the top of the game, according to her coach Nigel Sears. “I think the sky’s the limit,” claimed Andy Murray’s father-in-law.
Smiling Raducanu, 18, has gone from A level student to instant star by reaching the Wimbledon third round on her Grand Slam debut.
The only British woman left in the singles draw will take on Romanian world No 45 Sorana Cirstea on Saturday as a new crowd favourite.
And Sears insisted world No 338 Raducanu will be a name fans will be talking about for years to come.
The former Fed Cup captain said: “She’s handled this superbly – I couldn’t ask for any more. She is a very smart girl, and very grounded.
“She’s very ambitious, and she thinks big, which is one of the things I really liked about her when I first met her some years back. I just think she’s born to play tennis and she likes the stage, and she’s eating it up.”
Sears started working with the wildcard as a consultant three years ago before going full-time in April. He has previously coached former world No 1 Ana Ivanovic and No 5 5 Daniela Hantuchova.
“I think Emma compares very, very favourably in terms of material,” Sears said. “Quite frankly, I think the sky’s the limit. I thought that from day one.
“She’s hungry enough and eager to learn, It’s really up to her how far she goes. he’s not thinking about being an also ran on the tour.
“She wants to do something. She doesn’t consider professional tennis as: ‘Oh you go out there and you just play some tournaments on the tour for a few years’. She’s all about achieving. So that’s what I mean by thinking big.”
Raducanu was born in Toronto but moved to Bromley with her Romanian father Ian and Chinese mother Renee in 2004.
After beating former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the second round, she joked she felt like she was on holiday after her exams and claimed she wanted to stay as long as possible at Wimbledon because the food was so good.
But she could not hide her ambition about her exam results – or her career.
“I think my parents just think I’m crazy,” she laughed. “I won’t accept anything less than an A star. I feel like I have to live up to that expectation now.”
Cirstea will be a test of her temperament as well as talent in the biggest match of her young career. Before arriving at Wimbledon, she had lost her only previous WTA match.
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“I’m not saying that nerves have never been an issue because she actually froze against Harriet Dart on the Centre Court at Nottingham with about five people watching,” Sears revealed.
Kim Sears’ father actually introduced Raducanu to opponent Cirstea at the start of Wimbledon.
The Romanian, who shocked No 12 seed Victoria Azarenka in the second round, said: “I thought she’s a very, very sweet young lady. It’s gonna be interesting.”
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