“Weakness Became My Biggest Strength”: Serena Williams’ Coach Patrick Mouratoglou Reveals up Battle Against Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Published 07/14/2021, 8:02 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou during a practice session REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Tennis star Serena Williams needs no introduction. Her dominance in the women’s game over the years has got her into the history books of the elegant sport. However, not much attention is given to the people who are instrumental in grooming the careers of these athletes. 

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Recently, Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke on his battles with social anxiety and the manner in which he overcame this issue. It was a problem for him right from his childhood. He explained how he turned his weakness into his biggest strength.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 The husband of Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou react during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The 50-year-old coach stated, “As a kid, having panic attacks at night, anxiety, always being sick, and totally unable to socialize with others, I could never envision that I would be speaking to and motivating thousands of people around the world. This extreme weakness in my life became one of my biggest strengths. Because I wasn’t able to socialize, I observed and listened to others all the time trying to figure out their emotions.”

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Serena Williams’ coach got the better of situations 

When he would be around people, he would observe them, and due to that, he could understand their emotions. He figured out why different people behave in different manners. As of today, he fails to believe that he would be speaking to athletes and motivating them to strive for greatness. 

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. leaves court as she retires from her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich after sustaining an injury REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The Frenchman further added, “This allowed me to understand how people think and why they act certain ways, regardless of what they say. This skill helps me understand the needs of my players and enables me to feel how they really feel. My biggest weakness became my biggest strength.”

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Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by THE COACH (@patrickmouratoglou)

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Coming to Williams, she suffered an early exit from the Wimbledon Championships this year. She twisted her ankle during the early stages of her first-round match. It will be interesting to see how she performs for the upcoming US Open Series.

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Rohan Kollare

869 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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