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Tursunov on Parting Ways with Raducanu - "There Were Some Red Flags that Could Not Be Ignored"

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday, October 28, 2022

In a wide-ranging interview with Carole Bouchard of Tennis Majors, WTA coach Dmitry Tursunov talked about his decision to walk away from Emma Raducanu and join forces with Belinda Bencic.

The former coach of Aryna Sabalenka and Anett Kontaveit wanted to clarify that he didn’t link up with Bencic before leaving Raducanu’s camp.

He said, rather, there were “red flags” that forced his hand and caused him to decide to move on.

“I was walking away from Emma regardless of whether there was another [player] available or not,” he said. “We didn’t agree on the terms and there were some red flags that just couldn’t be ignored. So that’s why it’s a little frustrating to read things like that… I wasn’t hopping from one player to another, I wouldn’t do that.”

Tursunov, a former top-20 talent on the ATP Tour, said that he has a high opinion of Raducanu’s potential, and really wanted things to work.

“Our trial period was over at the US Open but I stuck around, trying to see if there was going to be a way to impress the team. I really wanted to make it work.”

It is unclear as to what red flags Tursunov was alluding to, but he did mention not wanting to be subjected to certain elements of control that were proposed.

“I could have stuck around, I could have agreed on everything that her team proposed,” he said. “But, deep down, I felt like that wasn’t the right thing to do. As difficult of a decision to walk away as it was, because I’ve never really walked away from a player, I felt like that was the right decision. Emotionally, I wanted to stay, but logically, I felt like I needed to leave. I felt like there were going to be problems later and I wanted to avoid them for my own peace of mind.”

That said, Tursunov remains a big fan of Raducanu’s talent, work ethic, and passion for the sport.

“First of all, she’s absolutely great, she’s a hard worker and she doesn’t think or act like she’s a superstar,” he said. “She is hungry to improve and is obsessed with tennis. I think it’s quite a rare combination. So I really loved working with her, and I really wanted to make it work. It was a very difficult decision for me to walk away from a player that I like and respect.”