Emma Raducanu ‘can trust’ Nick Cavaday – but who is the coach behind her resurgence?

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Emma Raducanu has looked like a woman reborn in recent days.

Continuing her return from injury, many doubted how the 21-year-old would fare on clay – with the surface not traditionally a happy hunting ground for British players.

But Raducanu has thrived on the dirt, picking up vital wins over Caroline Garcia and Diane Parry last weekend to help her nation stun France in the Billie Jean King Cup.

She was in fine form again on Wednesday too, dropping just three games in Stuttgart against two-time champion and former world No 1 Angelique Kerber.

Raducanu’s level across 2024 has been consistent – even when she has lost – and the Brit looks settled under the guidance of her coach, Nick Cavaday.

Cavaday is a familiar face for Raducanu, but who is the man behind her recent resurgence?

Collegiate player

Like many in recent years, Cavaday pursued tennis through the US college system.

The Brit – originally from South London – played for North Carolina State University, amassing a 74-56 singles record and 74-53 doubles record, while studying for a degree in psychology.

Once his collegiate career was over, the 37-year-old played regularly on the ITF Tour and reached a career-high of 1022 in the ATP Rankings, with his last match coming in 2010.

After calling time on his playing career, Cavaday became heavily involved with the LTA, as did his sister – and now tennis commentator – Naomi.

It was during this time that he first worked with Raducanu.

From 2011 to 2014, he was Head Coach at the LTA High Performance Centre in Bromley – the future US Open champion’s home town.

Raducanu spent countless hours training at the centre as a junior, and it comes as no surprise that Cavaday is someone she feels she can rely on.

Tour coaching experience

Cavaday has plenty of experience working with youth players, but also with several ATP players – particularly on the doubles tour.

Perhaps his biggest success came when he worked with Dom Inglot and Robert Lindstedt, helping the pair reach the semi-final of the 2015 US Open.

He has also previously worked with doubles specialists Rajeev Ram, Florin Mergea, Treat Huey, and Divij Sharan – while he has also worked with singles players such as James McGee and Aljaz Bedene.

Cavaday also worked at the LTA National Academy in Loughborough for several years before his recent partnership with Raducanu.

Trusted figure

Having known Cavaday since she was a child, Raducanu has perhaps made the perfect choice as she continues her comeback – and looks to bring stability to her coaching set-up.

“I feel very comfortable working with him. I have known him since I was a young age, so he’s someone who I feel like I can trust, and that’s a big thing for me,” she said, following her opening win in Stuttgart.

“Just having people who I know before I got famous or I got any of the big whatever [was] coming my way, it was just good to have someone who’s known me before that.

“You know that their intentions are good, and they didn’t just come after the win and when everything is easy to just come and join.

“It’s a nice feeling. He knows pretty well how I operate. I would say I haven’t changed at all since I was eight or nine. But everything around me has changed, but it’s mentally I feel like I’m the exact same person.”

“Big things” predicted

Raducanu’s wins over Garcia, Parry, and Kerber have given hope to supporters that she could thrive across the clay court season.

Even when she has tasted defeat this year there have been encouraging signs, and things are certainly on the up – with Raducanu set to rise up the rankings after beating the German.

But no one has higher expectations for this partnership than the Brit herself.

She added: “We have obviously been doing great work this year, and it’s starting to show, but the training weeks we have been doing since the start, it’s just been slowly building and building.

“Whenever it all comes together, I think big things will happen.”

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