The experienced German coach Torben Beltz is in line to become Emma Raducanu’s next coach after holding meetings with her and agent Chris Helliar near her home in Orpington.
Beltz is best-known for his work with Angelique Kerber, the former Wimbledon champion, but news emerged on Monday that the two Germans have split. Beltz would thus be free to join Raducanu in time for the off-season and January’s Australian Open.
Raducanu, who is preparing for the Linz Open in Austria, revealed on Sunday that she would have a new coach in place for the Australian Open, saying: “I had some trials [with potential coaches] and they went well .” She did not, however, reveal the coach’s name.
It is understood, however, that Beltz is in prime position. The 44-year-old and Raducanu were photographed together with Helliar, at the A Mano Coffee Bar and Kitchen in Orpington, close to Raducanu’s Bromley home. The picture was uploaded to a Raducanu Instagram fans’ site on Oct 20.
The only other coach who is known to have trialled with Raducanu is Esteban Carril, who formerly worked with Johanna Konta, but he is in Stockholm this week with Andy Murray, performing another trial with a view to joining Jamie Delgado in Murray’s backroom staff.
Beltz has enjoyed a long association with the former Wimbledon champion Kerber, notably in her dream season of 2016 when she won both the hard-court majors.
Kerber is a fine example of a player who made every ounce of her ability count. In 2011, she was ranked a lowly No77 when she became the first Wimbledon victim of 17-year-old British phenomenon Laura Robson. Few would have imagined then that it would be Kerber – rather than Robson – who wound up with three major titles.
On Monday, however, Kerber announced in an interview for Porsche Tennis magazine that she and Beltz are splitting at the end of this season. “I would like to take on more responsibility,” Kerber said. “I’m very grateful for our time together and for everything we experienced and achieved as a team.”
Beltz did not have much of a playing career. He is listed as having appeared in a couple of low-level matches in 2000, when he would have been 23, but does not seem to have had a professional ranking.
As a coach, however, he has established a strong reputation as a reliable, reassuring operator. He would certainly seem a strong choice for Raducanu’s first coach as a regular member of the WTA Tour.
As Raducanu said in September, when she announced that she would not be continuing with her US Open coach Andrew Richardson, “I really need someone right now that has had that WTA Tour experience at the high levels.”
Raducanu is playing her final event of the 2021 season this week in Linz, Austria, and will open her campaign against Chinese qualifier Xinyu Wang – the world No106 – on Tuesday afternoon.