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Emma Raducanu remains without a coach as she prepares to play in Romania for the first time in her career

Emma Raducanu goes back to her roots to play in Romania for the first time in her career … but she still doesn’t have a coach and will have to play behind closed doors due to the increase in COVID cases.


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Emma Raducanu received a warm welcome yesterday when she stepped onto the pitch for the first time in the land where her father was born.

However, he did it again without the presence of a coach, as the man he has been having test sessions with, Spaniard Esteban Carril, has not made the trip to the Transylvanian Open.

The US Open champion spent several days working with Jo Konta’s former mentor in London last week.

Emma Raducanu will play this week in the first round of the Transylvanian Open in Romania

Emma Raducanu will play this week in the first round of the Transylvanian Open in Romania

The father of the British tennis star, Ian, was born in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

The father of the British tennis star, Ian, was born in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

The father of the British tennis star, Ian, was born in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

However, he still has pre-existing commitments through his Lawn Tennis Association deal to work with GB player Katie Swan, and was unable to be released on relatively short notice.

Test work is likely to resume next month, but this time she has physio Will Herbert with her, who was not present in Indian Wells for their first post-New York tournament.

His agent Chris Heliar and his Bucharest-born father Ian are also present here.

In what is a relatively strong ‘250’ level event, Raducanu faced world number 123 Polona Hercog of Slovenia last night and could face Simona Halep, Romania’s biggest sports star, in the semi-finals.

Raducanu's triumph at the US Open last month propelled him to the top 25 in the world rankings.

Raducanu's triumph at the US Open last month propelled him to the top 25 in the world rankings.

Raducanu’s triumph at the US Open last month propelled him to the top 25 in the world rankings.

Raducanu was late on Friday night, and when yesterday’s qualifying matches ended prematurely, organizers were quick to arrange for her to take a hit on one of the main courts of the impressive BT Arena.

At least 200 people gathered to watch her practice for a formal hour against Romanian player Gabriele Ruse, with her father among those watching.

While this was an advantage for the event, he has run into major issues that could greatly deflate the occasion when the main draw starts.

Romania currently suffers from a rising rate of Covid cases, the highest in Europe, and on Friday night, the government issued a decree banning crowds from sporting events as part of a package of measures.

The 22-year-old was eliminated at the first hurdle at Indian Wells earlier this month.

The 22-year-old was eliminated at the first hurdle at Indian Wells earlier this month.

The 22-year-old was eliminated at the first hurdle at Indian Wells earlier this month.

Raducanu lost in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of the WTA event

Raducanu lost in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of the WTA event

Raducanu lost in straight sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round of the WTA event

However, cultural events will be allowed 30 percent attendance indoors.

The tournament had already agreed to reduce crowds to 25 percent of its 9,000 capacity in an area of ​​the country where vaccinations are highest.

“It was a huge and unexpected shock because we were already prepared to meet the requirements to make it safe,” said tournament director Patrick Ciorcila.

Raducanu has been working with Jo Konta's former mentor, Esteban Carril (right)

Raducanu has been working with Jo Konta's former mentor, Esteban Carril (right)

Raducanu has been working with Jo Konta’s former mentor, Esteban Carril (right)

“We are still pressuring them to reconsider and allow in people who have been vaccinated and we have written a letter to the prime minister.”

While it was doubtful that Raducanu’s grandmother made what is an arduous journey from her home in Bucharest, the restrictions make it even less likely.

Ciorcila said he was still delighted to have the new US Open champion playing alongside 2019 Wimbledon winner Halep.

World No. 123 Polona Hercog of Slovenia will be Raducanu's opponent in the first round

World No. 123 Polona Hercog of Slovenia will be Raducanu's opponent in the first round

World No. 123 Polona Hercog of Slovenia will be Raducanu’s opponent in the first round

“Although she has visited Romania many times, this is Emma and her father’s first visit to Cluj and they said they are eager to look around,” Ciorcila said.

‘There is great interest in her here because of her Romanian connections.

“It was Emma who came up to us to say that she would like to play, so when I received that email I was very happy.”

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