Serena Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglou says she will be ready for French Open

Tennis


Serena Williams‘ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, believes the 23-time major champion will be ready for the French Open later this month, even though Williams has not played a clay-court tournament this season.

Mouratoglou told WTATennis.com in an interview published Monday that he is “confident” Williams will be at Roland Garros for the start of the season’s second Grand Slam on May 27.

“Serena will play the French Open to win it,” Mouratoglou said. “Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything. After being her coach for six years, I’m even more sure of that statement.”

But Mouratoglou acknowledged that Williams likely returned to WTA Tour play too soon after she gave birth to her first child in September.

“Serena clearly came back too early,” he said. “She was not ready yet but needed to feel the competition, so she decided to play even though she was far from being at 100 percent. It was a good experience as she realized all the work that needed to be done in order for her to be really ready.”

Williams played in two tournaments in March, losing to her sister Venus Williams in the third round at Indian Wells and being upset by Naomi Osaka in the first round of the Miami Open.

She then withdrew from clay tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

Mouratoglou said Williams has been preparing at the coach’s tennis academy since late April.

Williams did not play in the 2017 French Open after announcing her pregnancy earlier that year. She is a three-time champion in Paris, winning the title in 2002, 2013 and 2015. Next week’s tournament would be her first Grand Slam event since winning the Australian Open for the seventh time in January 2017.



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