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The ‘invisible mentor’ behind Emma Raducanu Revealed That Ready to….

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The ‘invisible mentor’ behind Emma Raducanu Revealed That Ready to take her to next level

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Emma Raducanu’s coaching carousel has been one of the most prominent storylines of her first full year on tour. From sudden coaching splits to her unconventional decision to operate without a full-time person at the helm of her team, it has been the talk of tennis.

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But for all the attention, one woman in her inner circle managed to fall under the radar. Raducanu’s childhood coach Jane O’Donoghue has been described as the “invisible mentor” supporting her stratospheric rise, and she has now swooped in at the most important juncture in the tennis calendar: Wimbledon.

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Former player and LTA coach O’Donoghue popped up at the All England Club’s Aorangi Park practice courts with Raducanu on Tuesday. She has been by her side for the entire week, as she prepares to return to the tournament that launched her career a mere 12 months ago.

The ‘invisible mentor’ behind Emma Raducanu Revealed That Ready to take her to next level

For those in the know, it did not come as a surprise. O’Donoghue’s former LTA colleague and doubles partner Claire Curran puts it simply: “Jane’s never not been on Emma’s team.”

A former top 200 player, O’Donoghue spent a decade at the LTA between 2009 and 2019, mainly serving as head of women’s tennis. In that role she helped guide Raducanu’s development, in particular from age 13 to 17, sometimes attending her training sessions in Bromley three times a week and also travelling to junior competitions with her.

In 2019 she swapped her high-powered tennis career for the city, and now works for the Royal Bank of Canada, but has remained Raducanu’s confidante. “She’s always been an invisible mentor to Emma, she’s a friend of the family,” Curran says. “So even though she’s not been on the scene in the last three-and-a-half years, she’s very much been part of Emma’s inner circle.”

O’Donoghue, 39, was a sounding board for Raducanu during Wimbledon last year, and even attended the men’s final with her on Centre Court. During the US Open, she was one of a number of coaches who Raducanu turned to for advice as she inched her way closer to her historic title.

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Raducanu’s ability to take control of her matches in New York, and for three rounds at Wimbledon last year, was one of the most eye-catching facets to her breakthrough. It is a game-style she moulded with O’Donoghue. “Back in 2018, Jane told me, ‘Emma’s always going to be the one changing direction, on the front foot, dictating play’,” Curran says. “She had a really clear understanding of the way Emma was going to build this way of playing. At the US Open, she beat people on the front foot, changing direction – that’s the game they created together.

“When I see her on the court with Emma now, I know they’ll be addressing that game identity and really making sure she’s going back to the way in which she really plays the game.”

For all her success, Raducanu is still adapting to life on tour. She has had niggling injuries and more modest results this year. Since dropping German coach Torben Beltz in April, she has adopted an alternative “training model” where she consults with a number of different coaches rather than just one.

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LTA head of women’s tennis Iain Bates was in her corner during the clay court season, and she has taken technical advice from highly-regarded LTA performance coach and doubles specialist Louis Cayer. But with 17 Brits in the main draw in singles at Wimbledon, the LTA coaches were going to be more stretched. It makes perfect sense then that O’Donoghue has been called upon at this moment.

Raducanu is making her debut on Centre Court on Monday, a hugely high-pressured moment. Luckily, she will be able to turn to her temporary chief consultant to offer some first-person advice. In 2002 O’Donoghue was playing in the main draw at Wimbledon for only the second time, like Raducanu, and did so on Centre Court against none other than reigning champion Venus Williams. Unlike Raducanu, she was the underdog, and lost 6-1 6-1. But this link will no doubt be helpful.

Raducanu is said to have complete trust in O’Donoghue, as do her parents. Because of their long history working together, O’Donoghue is able to be direct with Raducanu and knows what works on the court. There is no doubt a level of respect there due to their shared interest in the finance sector too, which Raducanu and has previously spoken about.

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She has looked relaxed on the practice courts at Aorangi Park with O’Donoghue despite the injury-plagued build-up to Wimbledon. “Jane’s not looking to be in the limelight at all,” Curran says. “She just wants what’s best for Emma. I think it’s important Emma has that type of person in her team and her corner.”

There is no suggestion that O’Donoghue will be continuing this hands-on role post-Wimbledon. Nor do we know if she will even sit in Raducanu’s player box when she takes to the court on Monday. Regardless, her presence at the All England Club this week has been a welcome grounding force ahead of what could well be the most intense fortnight of Raducanu’s career so far.

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Formula One legend tipped to make shock U-turn on retirement after Lewis Hamilton ‘triggered something’ by moving to Ferrari

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Formula One legend tipped to make shock U-turn on retirement after Lewis Hamilton ‘triggered something’ by moving to Ferrari

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Lewis Hamilton’s sensational move to Ferrari has been tipped to lead to the return of one of Formula One’s best-ever drivers despite his recent retirement.

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Superstar Hamilton shocked the world of motorsport after deciding to activate a break clause in his Mercedes contract, allowing him to leave and join the Scuderia.

His switch to one of the world’s most recognisable brands will officially come into effect in 2025 and will fulfil a dream he has harboured since his childhood.

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The departure from the Silver Arrows, which is understood to have shocked team principal Toto Wolff, is likely to shake up the grid ahead of the next season.

Hamilton’s current team-mate, George Russell, will require a new sparring partner and this will have a knock-on effect as teams set about securing replacements.

Indeed, the move to Ferrari is said to have caught the attention of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who may well look to seal a shock comeback.

Why Christian Horner WILL learn his fate in 10 days
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Indeed, the move to Ferrari is said to have caught the attention of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who may well look to seal a shock comeback.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ralf Schumacher, the brother of the legendary Michael Schumacher, lifted the lid on Vettel’s potential return to the top of motorsport.

‘I’ve heard that Sebastian Vettel wants to drive again,’ Schumacher said. ‘Of course, a gap has to be closed now.

‘You saw what was going on on the stock market after Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari. That triggered something.’

Vettel, one of F1’s most recognisable faces, retired in 2022 after a glittering career that saw him line up for Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

But with Mercedes actively looking to replace Hamilton for 2025, Vettel may well be extended the opportunity to immediately slot back in at the tip of the grid.

Schumacher has questioned, however, whether the step could prove too much.

He added: ‘Whether George Russell has the charisma to replace Lewis Hamilton worldwide in terms of marketing or Sebastian Vettel as a German driver at Mercedes, that’s probably a size too big for him.’

Speaking in Bahrain, Hamilton revealed his reasoning behind his move to Ferrari, despite signing a new £50m-a-year contract with Mercedes only last August.

‘I saw my future with Mercedes then,’ he said. ‘An opportunity came up in the New Year and I decided to take it. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make.

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Chase Elliott penalized NASCAR Board

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Chase Elliott penalized NASCAR Board

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Chase Elliott and Joey Logano will serve penalties at the start of Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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Elliott, who won in Atlanta in 2022, was moved to the rear of the 37-car field due to making unapproved adjustments, which included changing an engine sensor.

Logano, who won the pole, is starting from the front row, but will have to do a pass-through at the start of the race for gloves not meeting SFI specification. That violation came in qualifying.

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Elliott is coming off a 14th place finish Monday at the Daytona 500. Logano led the most laps at Daytona 500 (45), but failed to finish after being involved in a late-race crash.

The Ambetter Health 400 on Sunday ended up being a forgetful affair for Cup Series mammoth, Hendrick Motorsports. The team flew to Atlanta on the back of a victorious weekend at Daytona and were hoping to make their 40th-anniversary celebration a tad bit louder, but missteps prevailed.

None of the four high-caliber stars found it in them to follow through on the strength of their cars and ended up outside the top 10 at the race end. The biggest disappointment of the day came from #5 driver Kyle Larson. Highly regarded as one of the most skilled drivers of the current generation, Larson started the race in 5th place.

The opening stage saw him battle Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney for the lead before he finished it in 4th place. He then proceeded to put on a great display of speed and finished the second stage in 2nd place with chances of victory lane reigning high. However, an issue with a rear tire caused him to have a lengthy pit stop, after which he restarted the final stage from 18th place.

Despite the setback, he found his way back to the top five. But that was only until he got involved in a wreck in the 219th lap. The incident involved Brad Keselowski and Corey LaJoie and ended up with Larson finishing 32nd. “There wasn’t anything I could do from my seat,” Larson regretted. The showcase was his best in the Atlanta Motor Speedway since its reconfiguration.

The fallback of Chase Elliott and the other Hendrick Heroes
Chase Elliott’s day in Atlanta was filled with wrecks, damages, and pit stops. The #9 Chevrolet Camaro’s pilot saw himself starting from the rear courtesy of an unapproved adjustment to his car. He was then involved in an accident in just the second lap of the race that forced him to the pits for repair.

After a delayed start in the second stage, he found his way to the leaderboard for a short while. He continued exchanging blows in the top ten when Ross Chastain spun him out in lap 199. Elliott avoided significant damage through some clever handling and resumed his race. He finished 15th in the standings.

The latest Daytona 500 champion William Byron was one of the most expected drivers for the Ambetter Health 400. He qualified 11th and held positive odds for a back-to-back win, but continual issues with his car hurt his chances. He led the #24 Camaro to a 17th-place finish. He was the second-best driver for HMS behind Elliott on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the #48 driver, Alex Bowman’s day took a bad turn right from the beginning. He was involved in the 16-car wreck on lap 2 and found himself alongside Elliott in the pits for repair. He eventually ended the day in 27th place. Looking ahead the four drivers will race in Las Vegas on March 3.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr Devises a Plan to Eradicate the ‘Fuel-Mileage’ Problem

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Dale Earnhardt Jr Devises a Plan to Eradicate the ‘Fuel-Mileage’ Problem

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Finally, the curtains have fallen on NASCAR’s biggest spectacle, the Daytona 500. The 200-lap feature was everything fans could ask for, meaning it had all the elements for an epic fan feast, delivering plenty of action, drama, and an unexpected thrilling finish. While the event was great for fans, drivers had to deal with a lot, plenty of shoving, and a fuel problem that caught most by surprise.

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Ross Chastain was probably the first one to be vocal about this issue. Following the race, NASCAR veteran and Pied Piper of Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr also offered his take on this matter. As a matter of fact, the 49-year-old gave an ingenious solution to the problem on his podcast.

Dale Earnhardt Jr cooks up a strategy to fix the Daytona 500

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Dubbed the “Great American Race,” the Daytona 500 is truly a marvel that enthralls the fandom unlike any other. The high-speed chases with cars zipping past being inches away from each other and the ever-persistent threat of the “Big One” keeps the fans on the edge of their seats. It always looks like a fierce neck-and-neck battle is ongoing on the racetrack. However, for Monday’s race, many drivers stated it was different from the majority of the 200-lap contests at Daytona International Speedway.

Usually, the field goes all out throwing caution to the wind to go three wide or four wide just to get the gold, but this year’s race saw a different plot. The fuel-mileage issue of the Next-Gen cars got drivers & teams to run in fuel-conservation mode throughout the majority of the event.

While the product didn’t appear much different on TV, drivers didn’t shy away from airing their frustration about just riding around for a large portion of the sport’s biggest race. Following this, Dale Jr dropped his take, providing an innovative solution to tackle the issue.

He said, “You need to have the stages short enough so that they can run the entire stage on one tank. Okay? That’s one way of doing it. I don’t like that, but it would create these little 50-lap Sprints, right? He essentially proposed, “If you split the stage in half then you don’t have guys really doing the fuel mileage game anymore.”

He then added, “We have to figure out a way to either allow them to… the stage needs to be nearly two tanks of gas. Okay? So they’re going to run a tank out, then fill up, and almost you know and complete the rest of the race.”

How did NASCAR drivers react to Daytona’s fuel problem?
200 laps on a 2.5-mile speedway equals 500 miles of high-octane racing. To add fuel to the fire, these race cars were being ringed to the core, being pushed out their maximum speed by racers. And that certainly needs a lot of fuel. While Ross Chastain and Dale Jr appear to be the first ones to react to the mileage issue, many more have expressed their concerns, including Legacy Motor Club driver Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace.

Erik Jones, in an exclusive to Toby Christie, said, “It’s frustrating, I don’t know how to fix it. It’s really hurt the racing for sure at these tracks. It’s a 480-mile fuel-saving race and a 20-mile sprint of chaos to the finish. I wish we could race more during the day.” Wallace on the other hand, shook his fellow driver’s hands in approval with a simple tweet that read, “Facts.”

Facts https://t.co/VjEn0JxSLx

— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) February 20, 2024

“Everyone was saving fuel. Get in the pack, and you run five seconds slower than we should have been running in the first stage. It was a massive pack. Five seconds,” Chris Buescher emphasized who was also frustrated with Monday’s racing.

Conceited Ross Chastain Refuses to Apologise, Deems Last Lap Wreckout a Massive Daytona Breakthrough

With the drivers venting out their frustration and experts like Dale Jr giving the solution, NASCAR only needs to heed the call and make the necessary changes, but will they?

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