Patrick Mouratoglou’s eye-catching work with Grigor Dimitrov and Aravane Rezai has long established him a reputation as one of the most tactically astute coaches in the game. But over the past two years, he’s made even more headlines as the man behind Serena Williams’ surge into the history books.
Patrick MouratoglouVulnerability is not normally a word you would associate with Serena Williams, a player who has been one of the most dominant figures in the women’s game for the past few years, overwhelming opponents both with her tennis and her sheer force of personality.
But two years ago, Williams was exactly that – vulnerable. Without a Grand Slam title in almost two seasons, her aura had firmly faded. But a startling loss against world No. 111 Virginie Razzano in the first round of the French Open proved an unlikely turning point. With time on her hands in Paris, an emotional Williams sought out the nearby academy owned by Patrick Mouratoglou as a practice base for the next fortnight.
The duo barely knew each other, but Williams was impressed by the Frenchman’s frank assessment of her shortcomings, and just a few weeks later, she claimed her fifth Wimbledon title. Since then, she’s won another three majors, Olympic gold, and enjoyed arguably the best season of her career. With 17 Grand Slam titles under her belt, she has a claim to be one of the greatest players of all time.
Tennis View caught up with the man behind the transformation.
Patrick MouratoglouTennis View Magzine: What adjustments did you and Serena make over the past couple of years to form such a good partnership?
Patrick Mouratoglou: I think that we’ve reached a very good level of mutual trust and respect. The thing is, all the foundations of her game and her athleticism have already been built under the guidance of her father. So my role is to take that and add to it. That requires keeping her motivated, helping her develop new things, or helping her understand how to be more efficient with her existing game.
I listen to her because she knows herself and how to prepare to feel confident on the court. She listens to me because she knows that I understand her game, her background and I have a knowledge base that she can use to become even better and reach her peak.
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