“Big Disappointment”: Coach Reflects on Serena Williams’ Defeat Against Naomi Osaka at Australian Open 2021

Published 04/28/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her semi final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Coach Patrick Mouratoglou has opened on Serena Williams’s agonizing semi-final loss at this year’s Australian Open. Playing the best she’s had in years and putting herself in contention for a record 24th career title that would put her level with the legendary Margaret Court’s Grand Slam haul, Serena went down in straight sets to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Consigned to yet another trophy-less run in a Grand Slam, the 39-year-old American left the Rod Laver Arena with a somber wave and a hand across her heart, leading many to speculate if she had played her last match.

Rumblings of retirement

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

After her heartbreaking loss to Osaka, Serena broke down and cut her post-match press conference short, sending out conflicting signals on her future in the game.

While the buzz around her retirement has been put to rest since the disappointment and dejection over another fruitless run in a Major has continued to dog the Serena fans worldwide.

And no less disappointed was her coach, who has now said that she was “sharp” all through the year’s first Grand Slam save for the all-important semi-final.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021, Serena Williams of the U.S. leaves the court after losing her semi final match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Patrick Mouratoglou says Serena Williams was ‘most fit’ at Australian Open 2021

Speaking to leading French daily L’Equipe, Mouratoglou said it was the fittest that she had seen Serena since she gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia and it was sad not to see her come out on the winning side of the Osaka clash.

“Everyone could see she was very sharp. Since having had her daughter, this was the moment when she was the most fit. It was a big disappointment that she was off her game against Naomi,” the Frenchman, nicknamed ‘The Coach’, said.

He added that there have been many instances in Serena’s long career when she went deep in Grand Slams without looking anywhere near as sharp and agile as she did at the Australian Open.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“There have been times when she made semis or finals in Grand Slams where she was not completely ready, but she was in really good form there (Melbourne),” Mouratoglou said.

Read More: Is Serena Williams Playing at Mutua Madrid Open 2021?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He added that the coaching team will focus on her perceived mental block when it comes to clearing hurdles in the business-ends of tournaments, especially Majors, and look for a “solution”.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Priyabrata Chowdhury

825 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT