“It Was Not a Good Idea”: Serena Williams’ Coach Laments Decision to Play at WTA Parma Following Italian Open 2021 Disappointment

Published 05/21/2021, 1:55 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. during her semi final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Serena Williams had a rather unpleasant return to action on the clay court. She had multiple second-round exits at Italian Open and WTA Parma Open 2021, and now is struggling against time to be ready for French Open 2021. Despite her precarious state, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou has remained positive for Roland Garros.

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Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her second-round match against Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

After the disappointment of the Italian Open 2021, Serena quickly had accepted a wildcard to participate in Parma. She was the top seed but was soon ousted in the second round. And now, looking at the decision, Patrick feels it was not a good idea to play in Parma.

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“I think she lost because she was not ready. I don’t know, but maybe it was not a good idea to go and play in Parma after losing in Rome because her match in Rome showed a lot of things that still needed to be worked on to be able to compete at the highest level.”

Serena Williams with coach Patrick Mouratoglou as they head to training. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Why did Serena Williams play in WTA Parma 2021?

Before playing in Italy, Serena was last seen at the Australian Open 2021. After the Grand Slam, injury hurdles delayed her return. Hence, she needed match practice ahead of French Open 2021. In the search for match practice, Serena’s team decided to play in Parma.

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“I think it’s always interesting to play matches because it gives you a clear vision of where you are, so that was good in that way because we know what she still needs to accomplish in order to be ready for Roland Garros. I’m not worried in general because if she does the job she will be ready. It’s just about doing the job,” Mouratoglou said.

Patrick is not worried about Serena. However, Serena has still only played three matches on clay. It was a conundrum that she and Patrick had faced. They had to slowly get back to playing matches, however, they also needed match practice as the Grand Slam is a week away. Let’s see how Serena does in Paris.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1068 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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