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Sport: Andy Murray gets best win of year and trials new coach as Emma Raducanu makes appointment

Emma Raducanu's Christian Dior photoshoot blamed for slip in results by England rugby boss

  Emma Raducanu's Christian Dior photoshoot blamed for slip in results by England rugby boss England rugby coach Eddie Jones blamed "distractions" for Emma Raducanu's recent pair of losses. The 61-year-old is keen to protect his new young star Marcus Smith as much as possible.The 22-year-old was influential in England's convincing 69-3 win over Tonga after coming off the bench on Saturday.

Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray capped off their seasons in Linz and Stockholm last week.

The 19-year-old's unprecedented breakthrough season came to an end with a second-round defeat to a qualifier at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz after she received a bye.

She also announced her new coach, and hit headlines when England rugby coach Eddie Jones pinned her recent losses down to "distractions", before backtracking on his comments and even inviting the teenager to Twickenham.

Meanwhile Andy Murray beat top seed Jannik Sinner to record the best win of his season, but lost to eventual champion Tommy Paul at the Stockholm Open.

Eddie Jones slammed over 'dumb' Emma Raducanu comments - 'Doesn't even know her name'

  Eddie Jones slammed over 'dumb' Emma Raducanu comments - 'Doesn't even know her name' After England defeated Tonga 69-3 in their Autumn International, coach Eddie Jones was left with a headache after he compared Marcus Smith to Emma Raducanu and implied the US Open champion has let commercial opportunities distract her.Jones made the comments after comparing Raducanu, who won her maiden Grand Slam when she claimed the US Open two months ago, to Marcus Smith.

It's not just the British Grand Slam champions whose years are coming to an end, as the ATP and WTA Finals both kicked off last week, with the top eight players of the season in the men's and women's sides facing off at the prestigious year-end championships, which conclude this week.

Express Sport takes a look at the biggest stories from on and off the tennis court over the last week.

Raducanu's breakthrough season comes to sudden end as she reveals new coach

Raducanu ticked off yet another career-first in her young career last week, as she was the top seed at a tournament for the first time while competing in the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, a WTA 250 event.

The US Open champion, who turned 19 on Saturday (November 13), received a bye to the second-round in Linz, where she faced qualifier and world No 106 Xinyu Wang, coming back following a one-sided first-set loss before she was narrowly defeated 1-6 7-6(0) 5-7, seeing her breakout season come to an end.

Emma Raducanu set to hire tennis coach who helped Angelique Kerber to Grand Slam glory

  Emma Raducanu set to hire tennis coach who helped Angelique Kerber to Grand Slam glory Emma Raducanu has reportedly ended her search for a new coach and is set to hire Torben Beltz . © GiveMeSport Emma Raducanu has reportedly ended her search for a new coach a Raducanu has been without a coach since her improbable victory at the US Open in September, when she parted ways with Andrew Richardson. Richardson, a former Davis Cup player who coached Raducanu for two years at youth level, linked up with the teenage sensation again in July on a short-term deal.

Although the world No 20 lost early in Linz, many saw the match as her best since her historic US Open title run, as she was able to get herself out of trouble and dig deep to make it a close battle, even saving match points when Wang served for the match at 5-4 in the final set after Raducanu got injured and needed a medical time out.

Following the defeat and the end to her incredible breakthrough 2021, the Bromley teenager also confirmed that she had appointed Torben Beltz as her new coach - a seasoned pro who led Angelique Kerber to the world No 1 ranking and two of her three Grand Slam titles.

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Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray both saw their 2021 seasons end in defeat © Getty Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray both saw their 2021 seasons end in defeat

Murray gets best win of comeback before season-ending defeat

Murray was also back in action this week for one last time in 2021 at the stacked Stockholm Open, and made it to his second quarter-final of the season.

Andy Roddick outlines what Emma Raducanu should be achieving in 2022

  Andy Roddick outlines what Emma Raducanu should be achieving in 2022 The Brit made history at Flushing Meadows after winning her first ever Grand SlamHer story is remarkable — climbing more than 300 world ranking places in just three months and becoming the new British number one.

He defeated world No 354 Viktor Durasovic 6-1 7-6(7) in the opening round before facing top seed and world No 10 Jannik Sinner for the first time in his career, producing a dominant display to defeat the world No 10 7-6(4) 6-3 in two hours and 15 minutes.

The former world No 1's convincing win over the young Italian was heralded as his best win since undergoing hip surgery in early 2019, as he had also defeated then-world No 10 Hubert Hurkacz in the recent Erste Bank Open, but the Pole was the fifth seed there rather than top seed, and the Brit needed three sets to narrowly overcome his opponent 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3.

The victory led Murray to his second quarter-final since October 2019 but he was unable to make a first semi-final since his title win at the Antwerp ATP 250 two years ago, as he lost to world No 52 and eventual champion Tommy Paul, 2-6 6-3 3-6.

The three-time Grand Slam champion was also undergoing a trial period with Esteban Carril in Stockholm, the man who took Johanna Konta into the world's top 10 and also trialled with Raducanu recently, and could appoint the Spaniard full-time over the off-season.

Emma Raducanu faces huge challenge to adapt as ‘everyone is looking at her'

  Emma Raducanu faces huge challenge to adapt as ‘everyone is looking at her' EMMA RADUCANU has been warned she faces a huge test in 2022 after her extraordinary breakthrough season.Her triumph also ended a 44-year wait for a British woman to win a major title - dating back to when Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.

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Outrage as Eddie Jones blasts Raducanu over "distractions" before backtracking

Raducanu found herself on the receiving end of criticism from England rugby head coach Eddie Jones last week, as he commented on Raducanu's recent defeats while trying to protect Marcus Smith, after the young star was instrumental in England's dominant 69-3 win over Tonga.

"The big thing for good young players is distractions, the distractions could be the exposure they get in the media, the praise they get, the criticism they get," Jones said, in a warning to 20-year-old Smith.

"There can be groups of agents who see this guy as the next big thing. There's a reason why the young girl who won the US Open hasn't done so well afterwards.

"What have you seen her on - the front page of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar or whatever it is, wearing Christian Dior clothes. All that is a distraction around her."

He was slammed for his remarks after failing to refer to Raducanu by name, while it was also pointed out at the time that the world No 20 had played just two events since winning the US Open, winning two matches and losing two.

Lewis Hamilton steps forward to help Emma Raducanu adapt to life in the spotlight

  Lewis Hamilton steps forward to help Emma Raducanu adapt to life in the spotlight Lewis Hamilton has been speaking with Emma Raducanu as the teeanger gets used to life in the global spotlight. © PA Images Emma Raducanu US Open champion Raducanu made a winning return to Britain at the ATP Champions Tour event at London’s Royal Albert Hall, beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse in a not-entirely-serious exhibition match. The 19-year-old was playing on home soil for the first time since her historic Flushing Meadows triumph in September.

Many also noted that a British Vogue photoshoot and interview she took part in was not a cover story, and was shot weeks before Raducanu even won the US Open, and before she flew to America for the summer hard-court swing.

Novak Djokovic begins his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title © Getty Novak Djokovic begins his quest for a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title

When Raducanu was given the opportunity to respond to Jones' criticism during a press conference in Linz, the teenager admitted she didn't "really know what this is about".

The world No 20 then said: "I think that many people are going to have opinions of me and what I'm doing.

"I just know I'm staying focused with a small circle around me. I have my parents, who would 100 per cent let me know if I was getting swayed. I am very zoned in."

Later in the week, Jones said he wasn't criticising the US Open champion, and even sent her a letter with an invitation to clear things up.

"The whole point was how difficult it is for young players to cope with distractions," the 62-year-old told BBC Sport. "So the point I made was not wrong. I can't control if it's taken out of context. There was no criticism of Emma.

"I have sent her a letter just to reinforce that and hopefully we'll see her at Twickenham shortly."

ATP and WTA Finals reach conclusion this week

The season-ending championships for both the ATP and WTA Tours are underway.

The WTA Finals, which were cancelled in 2020, have move to Guadalajara in Mexico as a one-off as the usual host city of Shenzen was unable to stage the event, and the tournament has so far been a success.

Most of this year's qualifiers are all making their debut, and the final two women to qualify - Anett Kontaveit and Paula Badosa - are the first two into the semi-finals after winning their first two round-robin matches in their respective groups.

After starting last Wednesday (November 10), the semi-finals will take place on Tuesday (November 16) and the final on Wedneday (November 17).

Meanwhile, the ATP Finals - being held in Turin for the first time after more than a decade in London's O2 Arena - kicked off on Sunday (November 14) as defending champion Daniil Medvedev defeated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets, and 2018 champion Alexander Zverev kicked off with a win after Matteoo Berrettini was forced to retire injured.

Novak Djokovic opens his campaign for a sixth ATP Finals crown at 1pm UK time on Monday (November 15) as he takes on Casper Ruud, while Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev face off in the night session.

The world No 1 has been able to avoid his two biggest rivals of 2021, Medvedev and Zverev, in the group stages, and is looking to equal Roger Federer's record of a sixth ATP Finals title, but his tournament started with a blow as one of his coaches was decided to leave Turin before Djokovic's opening match, after his son tested positive for Covid.

Lewis Hamilton steps forward to help Emma Raducanu adapt to life in the spotlight .
Lewis Hamilton has been speaking with Emma Raducanu as the teeanger gets used to life in the global spotlight. © PA Images Emma Raducanu US Open champion Raducanu made a winning return to Britain at the ATP Champions Tour event at London’s Royal Albert Hall, beating Elena-Gabriela Ruse in a not-entirely-serious exhibition match. The 19-year-old was playing on home soil for the first time since her historic Flushing Meadows triumph in September.

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