Serena Williams is playing some outstanding tennis and, at 31, may be getting better with age. She won Wimbledon and the US Open last year, and she captured the French Open this year. Williams was upset by Sloane Stephens in the quarters at the Australian and Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round at Wimbledon this year, but she’s looking dominant through the quarterfinals in Flushing. Williams’ new coach and boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou is getting a lot of credit for helping Serena play so well.
Mouratoglou’s coaching relationship with Williams was the subject of a USA Today Sports feature on Monday. In the article, Williams says a big reason why she and Mouratoglou connect is because Mouratoglou is similar to her father, Richard Williams, who was her original coach.
“That’s the only reason I was able to work with him — because of that mind frame,” Williams told USA Today. “We have the same forward way of thinking.”
Williams elaborated on that thought in a post-match interview on ESPN’s set following her 6-0, 6-0 win over Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals.
“The things [Mouratoglou] told me were identical to some of the things that my dad says,” Williams explained. “That’s the only reason I could work with him because if it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”
Williams also said that problems in her personal life led her to leave the US to train in France. There were some rumors that she was having difficulty with her father, which could be the personal issues to which she alluded.
“I was going through some stuff in my personal life and I just needed to get out of the states. I went to France and needed a place to practice, and that’s how the relationship started,” Williams told Hannah Storm.
Williams and Mouratoglou declined to discuss their personal relationship in the article. Reports first surfaced last year that the two were dating, though Williams later denied the claims. They have been photographed together in romantic embraces, and Maria Sharapova essentially confirmed the relationship during a spat with Serena earlier this year.
They might not want to talk about it, but there’s no denying that Mouratoglou seems to be good for Williams’ game.