“There is a Room For New League”: Serena Williams’ Coach Mouratoglou Divulges Plan to Reinvent Tennis

Published 11/02/2021, 3:17 PM EDT
Serena Williams with coach Patrick Mouratoglou as they head to training before the start of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou has earned a huge name in the sport. Today, he runs one of the biggest tennis academies in the world and has been coaching the American legend for the last nine years.

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Interestingly, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff are also graduates of the Mouratoglou Academy. Besides running the world class facility, Patrick also enjoys tremendous sway within the tennis community.

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Serena Williams’ coach talks about the real problem with tennis today

Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, recently delivered a lecture at the Web Technology Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. In it, he exclusively talked about the factors that are acting as hindrances to the growth of tennis. The Frenchman pinpointed that the current matches are very long and slow and therefore, the sport is unable to draw any new fans.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 16: Coach Patrick Mouratoglou watches Serena Williams of the United States practice. Day nine of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 16, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images)

“The average age of viewers is 61 years. Why are we unable to bring new fans? There was a digital revolution and the consumption of content changed completely. If we look at tennis, the games are very large, slow, not very authentic and not immersive,” said Mouratoglou in the lecture. (Translated via Google Translate)

Mouratoglou highlighted that in order to bring new fans, one needs to change the rules of tennis. Even though he feels that majority of people will not readily agree to it, he believes these changes will attract new audience.

“How will tennis have to reinvent itself? If we try to touch the rules of tennis, the vast majority will hate it. We don’t want to disappoint the fan base, but we also want to attract new fans. There is room for a new league. It’s very dynamic, with attractive changes for young people,” added the coach.

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Patrick Mouratoglou opens up about his experiment at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown

Last year, Patrick Mouratoglou and Alex Popyrin started a tennis tournament, Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS). The event follows a completely set of different rules and even has a different format than other ATP tournaments.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 28: Coach Patrick Mouratoglou watches as Serena Williams of the United States practices on court during training for the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

In the same lecture, Mouratoglou stated that the first edition of the UTS featured some great players. Thus, with different rules and quick matches, the management was able to engage with much more fans and the average age of their fanbase was reduced to 40.

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“We had great players [in the first edition]. Everyone wants to play again and is prepared to play both circuits. We already have many fans on social networks, the average age is 40 years old and most were not fans,” concluded the 51-year-old.

Patrick Mouratoglou seemed pretty clear with his thoughts about the current situation of tennis. Will the change of rules be able to bring a larger audience to tennis?

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DIVE DEEPER

Patrick Mouratoglou Reveals He Came to Know About Stefanos Tsitsipas Through a YouTube Video

about 1 year ago

 

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Anshul Singh

1533 articles

Anshul Singh is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 1000 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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