Tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who used to train Serena Williams, has explained his decision to part ways with the American tennis star. Back in April, Mouratoglou revealed the decision to bring an end to their 10-year relationship, instead choosing to train Simona Halep on a full-time basis. While speaking at a sports festival in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, Mouratogolou explained he split from Serena when it was clear she would not be competing at the French Open.
“I went to ask her what she was going to do,” he said. “It wasn’t very clear to her. I asked her if she wanted to go to Roland-Garros. She told me she didn’t know. “It was six weeks before the [WTA] Tour. I told her I was waiting for her on Monday for training and if she didn’t come I would consider myself free.” The decision to step away from training Williams made Mouratoglou consider whether he should walk away from coaching altogether.
He explained: “After Serena decided to take a break, I confessed to my loved ones that I feel like I’m done with coaching.
“I knew that one of my strengths was that I had a lot of enthusiasm for my work. Without this enthusiasm, I can’t be a good coach. I felt like I had lost it.”
However, it seems that Mouratoglou has found the passion for coaching yet again, after agreeing to become Halep’s trainer in the lead up to Roland-Garros and Wimbledon. Halep spent time in Mouratoglou’s training camp in preparation for the Indian Wells in March and is currently helping her climb back up the world rankings in time for Wimbledon.
The two-time Grand Slam winner last won a major at Wimbledon in 2019. Halep only made it to the second round at Roland-Garros this month after losing to Chinese player Qinwen Zheng. Halep spoke to Tennis Majors in April on her decision to join up with Mouratoglou: “I asked to work with Patrick because I really want to get back to the top, and I felt like he’s the best person to help me to do that. “I was lucky that he was actually available to do it with me. I want to get back to the top, and of course, I’m dreaming of another Grand Slam because that’s why I’m working every day.”
In contrast to Williams, who hasn’t played a match since Wimbledon 2021 where she withdrew in her first-round match of the tournament. The 23-time Grand Slam winner has indicated that she may make a return to the grass courts of Wimbledon this year, however, she would need to rely on receiving a wildcard to enter.
The opportunity of Williams making a return this month is also further complicated by the decision of the WTA and the ATP to remove all ranking points from the tournament, after they decided to ban all Russian and Belarusian players from competing due to the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.