Emma Raducanu has discussed her time with Andy Murray’s former fitness trainer Jez Green in a bid to get rid of her physical problems for the 2023 season. After being hampered by several injuries last year the 20-year-old has already made an improvement on her fitness levels but admitted that it would still be a long time before she reached her physical peak.
Raducanu made an impressive start to the season as she came from a set and 0-2 down to defeat 17-year-old rising star Linda Fruhvirtova in three sets on Tuesday in a match that was rained off twice. It was a strong physical performance from the world No 78 who had often struggled with lengthy matches and injuries in 2022, and served as a testament to her work with Jez Green over the off-season.
The British No 1 joined forces with the former fitness trainer of Murray, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem back in October and has since reviewed their time together, explaining just how much work she put into improving her strength over the off-season. “Jez is really good, he’s obviously so experienced, he’s worked with some of the top players, he’s been there through the journey with a lot of players who were young and then developed into top, top pros,” the 20-year-old told the WTA at the end of 2022.
“It’s amazing to have him in my corner and helping me out right now. We’ve just been focusing on strength, cardio and just improving all round.” Raducanu spent most of her off-season in the gym after the wrist injury that ended her season early also prevented her from practising her tennis until a week into December, meaning all her work was done away from the court.
Reflecting on her two months of work in the gym with Green, the former world No 10 said: “In the beginning because it’s new and because you’ve been playing tennis all year, you’re quite pumped and motivated to get in the gym so you can do two sessions a day easy and bosh it out like no problem.
“You can even get yourself motivated for the cardio sessions. But it then becomes after a long period of time to just be in the gym it can become a bit like mundane and you need to try and get yourself through it.” When the fitness became tiring, Raducanu said she was lucky to have a supportive team around her to keep her motivated.
“That’s when it would have been better to start introducing the tennis earlier, but I just couldn’t because of my injury. That’s why you need strong discipline and will power and also good people,” she added.
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But the 2021 US Open champion was honest as she confessed that two months wouldn’t be enough time to see the physical improvements that she hoped for, despite proving herself in a marathon match in Auckland. “I think right now because I’m still trying to find my timing and groove and my tennis, it’s a bit early to tell,” she said of any potential fitness gains.
“But once I settle into that I think the physical side will definitely have made a difference because there’s no way it can’t have. But I’m also not ignorant in thinking two months is going to solve my entire physical condition, it’s going to take more time, over a year or two to redevelop.”