Melbourne – Serena Williams wants to win more Grand Slams but hardly needs the all-time record for validation, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou said on Monday.
Williams is trying to win her 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, which would match Margaret Court’s record.
The American great has fallen short in four Grand Slam finals since winning the 2017 Australian Open but has another chance after reaching the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.
“Does she need that validation? I don’t think she needs that validation,” Mouratoglou told reporters.
“But clearly she came back to tennis to win some other Grand Slams, so that’s for sure the goal.
“Now, she’s not as obsessed with the 24 (as) most of the people in the tennis world, but definitely she wants to win Grand Slams. That’s the only reason why she came back to tennis.”
Mouratoglou said it did not really make sense to compare Williams’ record with Court, given 13 of the Australian’s Grand Slam titles came before the professional era, which started in 1968.
“We all know it’s two different sports,” he said. “It’s an amateur sport and a professional sport.
“But it’s probably fun to talk about beating records, which is something that I understand.”
Mouratoglou said Williams, at 39, is moving better than she has in three years on court and that the team had emphasized bringing back the “footwork” she had in the past.
“If you can’t move well, there is no Plan B. The only plan is attack. I think it cost her a few important matches,” the Frenchman said.
“We’ve been struggling those last years because she had a lot of injuries, so she was not able to practice the way we wanted,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a vicious circle because when you can’t practice well, you don’t get fit.
“Now we’re more in a virtuous circle than a vicious one.”
Williams, the 10th seed, will face No. 2 seed Simona Halep for a place in the semifinals. Halep beat Williams for the 2019 Wimbledon title in their last meeting.
The Wimbledon triumph was only Halep’s second victory in 11 matches against Williams, but Mouratoglou saw it as something of a watershed moment for the Romanian.
“I think Simona played the perfect match in Wimbledon,” he said. “It’s going to be a different process for her because she knows she can play like that against Serena, which she never did before.”
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.