Serena Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglou admits French Open preparation was ‘not perfect’

It’s been a difficult year for Serena Williams and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has admitted her preparations for the French Open have been far from ideal.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion twisted her ankle in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open at the start of the year before suffering a knee injury in Miami that has continued to plague her throughout the entirety of the clay-court season.

Indeed, she only completed one match in the build-up to Roland Garros before being snapped in a wheelchair just days before the tournament began.

Williams did come through her opening match, recovering from a slow start to beat Vitalia Diatchenko 2-6 6-1 6-0, and ahead of her second-round tie with Japan’s Kurumi Nara, Mouratoglou gave his thoughts on how his player is progressing.

‘I think she’s doing well,’ Eurosport’s French expert told reporters at a press event.

Mouratoglou has been helping Williams prepare

‘She had a big injury in Miami and she had to pull out of the tournament and it took her a lot of time to recover from that and to be able to practise again.

‘We didn’t have as much time as expected to prepare for a Grand Slam. Considering the small amount of time she had I think she did an incredible job and I can see that she’s able to compete at a good level so I’m quite happy.

‘Of course, it’s not perfect. I think with champions, it’s almost never perfect. You want to do things perfectly but you can’t control everything and injuries are part of the things you can’t control so I think she did the best she could considering the situation.

‘Now it’s all about competition but this is something she’s quite good at so let’s see how it goes.’

Speaking at the same event, Kim Clijsters believes Williams does enjoy an advantage over the rest of the draw due to her experience in big moments.

‘It’s tough. Very open, very exciting,’ she said of the WTA field in Paris at the same Eurosport event.

Kim Clijsters assessed the draw

‘There’s a few players: Simona Halep being the reigning champion is dealing with being in that position for the first time.

‘Serena, playing well but you know she ended the match well, I think that’s the most important thing first round is going into the locker room with a good feeling in the way that you ended.

‘The thing is there’s a lot of girls who can make it tough for the favourites but I don’t know if they’re capable of winning it or being consistent seven matches in a row.

‘That’s when you have experienced players like Simona, Serena… to be good enough on the day, that’s all you need is to be good enough on the day to try and win those seven matches.

‘Yesterday, seeing Kiki Bertens go out being sick was surprising because I think she was playing very well and I think she was capable of causing some damage in the draw.’

Back to top button