Peterborough man coached Emma Raducanu to an astonishing US Open tennis success
Teenager Emma Raducanu stunned the sporting world by winning the US Open Ladies singles title last night (September 11)... and she had a Peterbororough man her corner.
Raducanu (18) beat fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to lift the prestigious title and claim a whopping $2.5 million first prize.
It was an astonishing success for the Brit who became the first player to win a singles title at Flushing Meadow having come through qualifying. In total Raducanu played 10 matches and didn’t drop a single set. She is the first British women since Virginia Wade in 1968 to win the US Open title and the first since Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 to win a Grand Slam title.
And steering her through an incredible achievement was coach Andrew Richardson who was born in Peterborough and lived in Bourne as he set out on his own professional career which involved Grand Slam tournaments and Great Britain Davies Cup appearances.
Richardson only took over as Raducanu’s coach after her thrilling run to the fourth round at Wimbledon earlier this year - her breakthrough tournament.
Remarkably despite her success in New York, Richardson is only operating on a short-term contract as Raducanu’s parents operate a flexible coaching strategy.
Richardson(47) has done little coaching at main tour level, but worked with Raducanu at Bromley Tennis Centre for two years from the age of 11.
Richardson is a well-liked figure in the British game known as ‘Flex’, due to his telescopic limbs and towering 6ft 7in frame.
“He’s very good at instilling the fundamentals into my game and just making me realise that doing the basics to a really good level is going to take you a long way,’ Raducanu told the Daily Mail.
“He’s also a very calming character. So sometimes if I’m getting too fired up or expecting too much from myself, he’s very, very good at just relaxing me and reassuring me.’
Richardson was coached in his days as a youngster by local tennis guru John Rudd who works at the city’s David Lloyd Centre.
Richardson was good enough to reach the third round of the singles at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the US Open. He won five Challenger Tour men’s doubles titles, one with Tim Henman. He was best man at Henman’s wedding.