Dmitry Tursunov says he decided to quit coaching Emma Raducanu at the end of his trial period with the tennis star because of “red flags” he couldn’t ignore.
The Russian had worked with the 19-year-old after she split from full-time coach Torben Beltz in April, but has since said the pair could not agree on terms.
Tursunov now works with Olympic champion Belinda Bencic but says that’s not why he left Raducanu.
“I was walking away from Emma, whether or not there was another [player] available or not,” he told tennismajors.com, in an interview published Wednesday.
“We didn’t agree on the terms and there were red flags that just couldn’t be ignored. That’s why it’s a little frustrating to read about stuff like that.
“I wasn’t jumping from player to player, I wouldn’t do that.”
Raducanu burst onto the scene in 2021, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon before winning the US Open.
The then 18-year-old became the first qualifier in men’s or women’s tennis to reach a Grand Slam final, let alone win one.
Injuries, poor form and changes to her coaching staff have contributed to disappointing results since and the teenager is now ranked 76th in the world.
Earlier this month, she withdrew from the Transylvania Open due to a wrist injury.
Despite her difficulties integrating into the WTA Tour, Tursunov is full of praise for her former player.
“First of all, she’s absolutely awesome, she’s a hard worker and she doesn’t think or act like she’s a superstar,” he added.
“She’s hungry to improve and obsessed with tennis. I think that’s a pretty rare combination. So I really loved working with her, and I really wanted to make it work. It was a very tough decision. for me to leave a player I love and respect.
“In my opinion, she’s a minimum of a one-year project, but I’d say she’s probably a two-and-a-half-year project to be on the safe side.
“Of course, it’s hard to say and it’s hard for people to understand how it’s possible because she’s already won the US Open. But, in my opinion, her game is very raw, and I think that ‘in many ways it could be much improved.
CNN has reached out to Raducanu’s team for comment but has not received a response.