Emma Raducanu’s work with Russian coach Dmitry Tursunov has been branded as just another experiment as the reigning US Open champion struggles with consistency as her title defence approaches.
Tennis Twitter chat has revealed that the 19-year-old Briton and former player Tursunov are only working this week in a trial effort at the WTA Washington event – next week’s Tour event in Toronto clashes with a prior commitment for the new mentor.
Raducanu is due to compete for the first time in more than a month since exiting in the Wimbledon second round and will try to regroup against American qualifier Louisa Chirico in an opening match in the US capital.
The pairing with US-based Tursunov is raising alarm bells in London, with fears that any success from the pairing would serve as useful propaganda for Russia as the invasion of Ukraine continues.
It is also questionable as to how much help Tursunov would actually be, given the severe Western restrictions on travel by Russian passport holders.
The 10th-ranked Raducanu, who has been through a stable of coaches in barely a year, is more focused on her tennis and trying to get that right.
“I’ve learnt that I’m pretty resilient. I’ve pretty much been knocked down every single week literally in front of everyone, getting back up every single time.
“It’s just a fun learning experience for me.”
She added: “This year was always going to be pretty tricky, trying to find my feet at this sort of level.”