Coach Patrick Mouratoglou Opens up on the Setbacks of Growing Age for Serena Williams and Roger Federer

Published 08/27/2021, 2:21 AM EDT
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 01: Serena Williams of the United States and Roger Federer of Switzerland take a selfie on court following their mixed doubles match during day four of the 2019 Hopman Cup at RAC Arena on January 01, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)


Tennis fans were handed heartbreak ahead of the US Open 2021. The hugely anticipated event is scheduled to kick-start at the end of this month. However, as fans looked forward to the tournament’s enthralling action, they received rather disheartening news. Two of tennis’ best, Serena Williams and Roger Federer, recently announced their withdrawal from the season finale.

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Riddled by injuries, Serena Williams and Roger Federer will spend the remainder of the 2021 season on the sidelines. The heartbreaking news came in ahead of the US Open draws, leaving fans in disbelief. Despite all efforts for a quick-fire return, the WTA legend failed to make a remarkable comeback. Similarly, Roger promised to return to the courts but couldn’t keep up with the race against time.

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Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, opens up on the two tennis greats, explaining how growing age further adds to their setbacks. Serena, who celebrates her birthday next month, will join Roger Federer as she turns 40.

“No one could ever imagine”- Patrick Mouratoglou

Serena and Roger have dominated the tennis conversation in their respective categories for over a decade now. However, with age catching up to the two maestro’s, the visits to rehab have increased for both. At the same, on-court appearances have massively reduced. Notably, Patrick details how playing at the level they do, the risk for injuries is constant.

Explaining the rarity of the two greats, he said, “No one could ever imagine they would play competitive tennis at 40. You have a new deal in tennis, it’s that champions can play longer, over 35, thanks to their unprecedented professionalism. Nevertheless, it’s still a race against the clock. 

Serena Williams goes down injured during her first round ladies’ singles match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich on centre court on day two of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

“Moreover, in tennis, a dramatically demanding sport. You have more and more injuries, the time needed to be fit again is longer. It reduces the competition periods, and so it makes things more and more complicated,” he added.

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Is it time to bid goodbye to Serena Williams?

It’s been 4 years since Serena last won a major Grand Slam. Since 2017, the former World No. 1 has appeared in 4 finals but ended on the losing side of all. Going into the 2021 Wimbledon Championship, Serena was considered a favorite for the title. However, a mid-game injury in the first round forced Serena to quit the rest of the tournament.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 13: Serena Williams (USA) looks dejected against Simona Halep (ROU) during their Ladies’ Singles Final on Day 12 of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Ever since, Serena has missed out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and each of the build-up events to the US Open. Despite her relentless efforts, she has failed to make a comeback on the court. With one setback followed by another, fans can’t help but wonder, is it time to bid goodbye to Serena Williams?

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DIVE DEEPER

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Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

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