Patrick Mouratoglou revealed there was a time when he felt Serena Williams “forgot to think like Serena” and also explained how he was able to help the American “reconnect with herself” and get back to winning Grand Slams.
In 2015, Williams won the opening three Grand Slams of the year – the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. At the 2015 US Open, Williams made the semifinal before suffering a shock semifinal defeat against Roberta Vinci.
The Vinci loss shook Williams and she also lost back-to-back Grand Slam finals at the 2017 Australian Open and French Open. Before Williams went out on the court for her 2017 French Open final against Garbine Muguruza, Mouratoglou gave her a motivational speech and expected the American to go out and win – but she lost.
But after seeing how Williams reacted to losing the 2017 French Open final, Mouratoglou was confident she would win Wimbledon. That exactly happened as Williams defeated Angelique Kerber in the 2017 Wimbledon final.
Mouratoglou on teaching Williams to think like Serena again
“I taught Serena Williams to think like Serena again.
She had forgotten that. So, she loses the US Open semifinal against Roberta Vinci and it had a huge impact on her. Even though it is one defeat after four Grand Slams won in a row, and she was in the semifinal of the fifth. Then, she is in the Roland Garros final, playing extremely badly and the previous losses are still having an impact.
She can make it to the final as she has the tennis and physical qualities, but to win a final requires a specific headspace. Serena didn’t have it. So, I had to connect her to herself. I’ll never forget the 30 minutes before Roland Garros final.
I said to her ‘You have forgotten who you are, I need to remind you so sit down. I’m going to tell you your story.’ I tell her about her life. To make her realize how strong she is and how everything always depends on her. I don’t use those exact words, But I tell her in a way thar will resonate with her.
I say to myself, ‘That’s it, I’ve won, she’s going to into that court and smash it.’ And she loses. Honestly, I’m really surprised, I feel like I’ve lost. As I always take credit for the wins and the losses and here I failed.
However, the next day she call me and we speak. I hang up and say to the academy director who I was with, ‘Serena is Back. This is it. She’s going to win Wimbledon. That’s for sure’ And she wins Wimbledon, no surprises. She had reconnected with herself,” Mouratoglou said during a conversation with David Laroche.
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