French connection helped end Serena's slump
Date published :
12 Jul 2012 - 00:46:52
Serena Williams has developed a French connection besides her Paris flat, the five-time Wimbledon winner quietly building a coaching consultation relationship with Patrick Mouratoglou.
Williams spent time at his academy near Paris after one of the worst losses of her career in May when she exited in the opening round of Roland Garros, only to come back and win another Wimbledon crowd a month later.
The 30-year-old American, top seed this week on hardcourt at the Stanford Classic in California, is reluctant to delve too deeply into the apparently continuing role for the Frenchman, but has revealed:
"I love Paris and I spend a lot of time there. I have a place there. I've been kind of almost living there a lot. I found a great facility and I know Patrick and he's a great guy. I loved working with him while I was in Paris."
The American said that the Paris loss affected her deeply.
"It puts doubts in your mind, but that is normal," she said. "It affected me more than any other in my career. You have to climb back out if you can."
Helping her do that was Mouratoglou, a coach who has worked with ATP and WTA players including Mario Ancic, Marcos Baghdatis, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Gilles Muller, Ivo Karlovic and France's Pauline Parmentier.
Williams, who has always been "coached" by one of her parents throughout a career that now includes 14 Grand Slam singles titles, is quick to define her relationship as an advisory one and insists that her parents are considered as her true mentors.
"My dad is always out there on the court, as well as my mom," she said at Wimbledon. "My dad is my coach. He has had a great formula, I think, in the past decade or more. It works."
After her Wimbledon title, Williams named Mouratoglou in her shout-out during the trophy ceremony. Her work with the Frenchman began after her Roland Garros defeat by France's Virginie Razzano.
"It hurt her, of course, because she wanted to win," Mouratoglou said. "She was ready to win and she didn't and lost the first round.
"But the champions, when they are hurt they react, and I think the best reaction is to win the Grand Slam that come after that one."
Williams surely worked on her serve during her days at the academy, a decision which proved successful as she fired a record 102 aces during her Wimbledon title run.