2021 Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty won't be opening this year's play on the Wimbledon Centre Court and there is a chance Emma Raducanu gets to be the replacement for the Australian who shockingly retired from tennis at the age of 25.
Wimbledon traditionally gives the defending champion a chance to play the first match on the Centre Court but for this year they will have to find a replacement. On Tuesday, Wimbledon held its annual spring media day. The All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt revealed world No.
1 Iga Swiatek, 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova or "other prominent players" could get a chance to kick off the play on the Centre Court.. Raducanu, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 11 in the world, won the US Open last year and she is certainly in consideration to start the play on the Centre Court.
Raducanu made her Wimbledon debut last year, when she reached the round-of-16 as a wildcard. "The world No 1, runner-up or other prominent players," Hewitt said.
Raducanu split with her coach
Last week, Raducanu won back-to-back matches for the first time this year as she reached the Stuttgart quarterfinal before losing to Swiatek.
After achieving her best result of the year, Raducanu announced she would not continue working with coach Torben Beltz. "I want to thank Torben for his coaching, professionalism and dedication over the last half a year," Raducanu said.
"He has a huge heart and I have enjoyed our strong chemistry during the time together. "I feel the best direction for my development is to transition to a new training model with the LTA supporting in the interim."
Raducanu split with coach Andrew Richardson after winning the US Open. Raducanu cited her desire to find a more experienced coach as the reason for her decision to fire Richardson. Beltz helped Angelique Kerber win Grand Slams and reach the No. 1 ranking. Raducanu thought Beltz was the coach she needed but she was wrong.