Emma Raducanu ‘will be used as Russian propaganda’ after linking up with Dmitry Tursunov

Emma Raducanu has been warned she will be used for Russian propaganda after she hired Moscow-born Dmitry Tursunov to be her new tennis coach. The comments were made by the chair of the all Parliamentary group on Russia, Chris Bryant, who encouraged the 19-year-old to reconsider her decision.
The British star has been without a coach since she split with Torben Beltz in April. Tursunov comes with a high coaching pedigree having worked with world No 2 Anett Kontaveit, helping her initial rise through the world rankings.

He split with the Estonian after the French Open as his Russian passport was making it difficult for him to be given a visa to travel to different countries. He has made no public statement about the war and would have to sign a formal declaration denouncing the Ukrainian invasion if he was to ever work in Britain.
Raducanu’s decision has caught the eye of British politicians including Bryant. The Labour MP, who is also a member of the foreign affairs select committee, encouraged the US Open champion to reconsider the appointment fearing its propaganda potential.

“The Kremlin will portray this as a PR coup and an indication that the UK doesn’t really care about the war in Ukraine, so it’ll be a real shame if Emma goes ahead with this,” Bryant told Telegraph Sport. “I urge her to think again and at the very least to condemn Putin’s barbaric war.”
Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee was also keen to have his say, encouraging the Lawn Tennis Association to step in. The LTA helps support Raducanu, providing her with science, wellbeing and medicinal support.

“It does jar to see a Russian coaching Britain’s number one rising star,” he told the Telegraph. “You would hope that the LTA would show some leadership on this and be able to advise Emma what is the best course of action.”
Mr Knight also believes that ‘a conversation needs to be had’ about his views on the war if he is to continue working with Raducanu.

Tursunov enjoyed a reasonable tennis career, reaching a high of world No 20 and representing Russia at the Davis Cup. While he was born in Russia, he has spent most of his life-based in the United States.

The recent Wimbledon Championship caused controversy after the LTA decided to ban all Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament. This meant stars like men’s world No 1 Daniil Medvedev were forced to miss the tournament. The ATP decided to strip ranking points from the event as a result meaning winner Novak Djokovic fell to world No 7 despite winning the championship.

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