Serena Williams’ boyfriend/coach says Serena had back injury

Serena WilliamsWhen Serena Williams loses a match, the media usually turns it into a conversation about what went wrong with Serena rather than what the triumphant opponent did right. That’s probably because Serena is by far the best female player in the world and expected to win every event she enters. But Serena was upset by Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and her boyfriend/coach Patrick Mouratouglou revealed to the media that Serena was limited by a back injury.

Serena seemed like she didn’t want anyone finding out about the back injury, and she playfully called out Mouratouglou for “snitching” about her bad back. She admitted she took painkillers and contemplated not playing in the match, but she tried to go through it and said she felt good about the way she played.

“I almost pulled out. I probably should have,” Serena said when asked about her back. “I don’t want to blame anything. I feel like Ana deserves all the credit. I feel like she played unbelievable today. It’s not like I gave her the match; I tried to fight with the best I could today. I almost didn’t play, but I did and at least I feel good that I tried the best I could on this day.”

Williams was complimentary of Ivanovic and wanted to emphasize that her opponent played well and that nothing should detract from that. She made every attempt to deflect the focus from her back to Ivanovic’s good play.

“Yeah it’s OK,” Williams said of her back. “It wasn’t the best, but I thought she played really well.

“Maybe I wasn’t the best physically, but that had nothing to do with it. I think Ana just played a really good match. She did what it takes to win. I’m not going to make excuses.”

Serena was down on herself for missing so many shots and making so many errors, but she had a positive outlook despite the loss.

“I know for a fact that I can play so much better than I did today. Knowing that, I’m not disappointed in anything.”

She also said the loss will help show her what she needs to work on in practice.

As for Ivanovic, well, she took the second set of the match to claim her first set ever against Serena. Then she got up a break in the third and held on for the win, which marked just the sixth time Serena has lost in a major after winning the first set. She dominated Serena in the final two sets and played extremely well. She really shined with her service returns and frequently smashed Serena’s second serves for winners.

Ivanovic moves on to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time since reaching the finals there in 2008.

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  • gracesette

    of course, serena Williams is the best player to date. however, it was refreshing to see ana ivanovic win which she has not done in some time. ana played really well and deserved to win. ana can certainly have another profession in modeling. she is very photogenic and quite lovely.

  • johnnyive

    Ooh, poor little thing… so it had nothing to do with Ana playing better tennis then? Serena starting to moan just like murray.

  • gracesette

    all things said, it would be wise on both serena and her coachs part to cool it. way too much negative publicity and he will definitely contribute to her status in the tennis world. he doesn’t do a thing for me, oh well, enough said!!!

  • Kandylicious

    Congratulations to Ana Ivanovic on a great win, Serena`s a great player and she will be back.

  • Pastor Burt

    Dear Readers:

    This article is on point. When questioned, finally Serena Williams now spoke the truth: “The secret is out…” What secret? A secret is something you don’t want to disclose; that you don’t want others to discover or admit to. What was Serena’s secret? Serena has a bad back, and this has been a long standing problem which either she will rise above or that will end her athletic career. It is that serious.

    Serena Williams has a history of a bad back, and she re-injured her back a couple days earlier. Essentially, Ivanovic did not beat Serena Williams. She beat an injured Serena Williams. Sloan Stephens did not have a breakthrough against Serena Williams in last years Australian Open. Sloan Stephens instead secured a victory over a diminished and injured Serena Williams.

    If you look at the WTA Championship matches closely you will see that Serena Williams almost lost there as well, and for the same reason: Serena Williams has a bad back. Steffi Graft has said that Serena Williams will become the greatest player of all times IF SHE REMAINS HEALTHY. Serena Williams health is the only issue. When Serena Williams is healthy, no-one can beat her.

    Bad backs historically have ended the career’s of many athletes. For example, the only reason Andrea Agassi retired was because he had two swollen vertebra and a bone spur in his spine producing terrible pain. When Serena Williams stops playing, it will not be because of superior competition or the lack of will but because her back failed her.

    Frankly, Serena Williams dealing with this back problem has been up to now short sighted and essential denial. That is why she called it a “secret”. After her loss to Ivanovic, the diminished Serena Williams made these observations. She confessed that she was on strong medication and that she nearly pulled out of match with Daniela Hantuchova. She stated, “I almost pulled out. I’m such a competitor. I mean, I probably should have… I have just been on some — the strongest meds I can take, that are legal, which my body didn’t handle it well because I haven’t been taking anything (else). So I was like really kind of out of it for a few days..”

    So the problem was again her back, just as an injury to her back took her out of the Australian Open last year against Sloane Stephens, and just as it nearly took her out of the year-end WTA championship this last December.

    If drugs could fix a back, Andrea Agassi would still be playing. He couldn’t and Serena Williams can not gut this out either. Masking the pain only causes the injury to worsen by continued play.

    Serena knows better and I am hoping that her common sense will soon kick in. She must face the issue and bring the secret out into the open where she can attack it. First, she should be strongly instructing those in her team that have advised her to take those drugs that she will not be doing so in the future.

    After all Serena Williams is a “vegan”. She lives by beliefs and rules that preclude her from eating a long list of foods, that this world otherwise foolishly thinks are perfectly fine. She daily refuses ingesting many things into her temple. Based upon her own good judgement, I expect Serena to sooner than later put an end to the use of drugs for the masking of pain.

    Second, in my opinion, Serena Williams must and hopefully will take a more holistic approach that will work to successfully extend her career for many years. What Serena Williams can do and should do is add to Team Serena a good chiropractor (one or more if necessary) to travel with her. This Doctor, this profession should be on her team to realign her back after every practice and match she participates in. Likewise, she should have the same chiropractic team align the soft tissues in her spine daily after practices even when she is in training in between tournaments.

    By taking this non-drug approach, Serena will essentially recover in most instances over night with no side affects. Even if she did not fully recover overnight, she would still be likely fit enough to play certainly every two days. If her back does act up, the injury will be much less because she will already be in a form of daily therapy to minimize what is now the current horrific results. She can not gut this out. Serena Williams needs professional services that will competently deal with the problem just like every professional tennis player has their rackets restrung before matches. Having her back professionally realigned should be as fundamental to Serena Williams professional routine after a match or practice as taking a shower or put on her makeup. This holistic approach will cure her and it will work.

    The drug approach will destroy her. Medication just masks the injury, but does not heal that which is crippling Serena Williams as an athlete competitively. Pain is the body’s way of telling the athlete that the the athlete is injured. Serena Williams should therefore proactively deal with the injury even before the injury occurs rather than use drugs to mask its existence. This is not something her trainer is capable of doing. She needs a doctor on staff to deal with this issue.

    Third, Serena Williams should stop playing doubles at tournament. When Serena Williams gets done with a singles match, she can not afford to put more strain on her back prior to the next singles match. Serena Williams is not a kid any more. She should have two days to recover in between matches at these tournaments. Our bodies have built in expiration dates base upon usage, so if you use it in time you simply loose it. I realize doubles are fun and it helps Serena feel comfortable coming to net. But from now on, Serena should play her doubles in non-tournament environments, not at tournaments. Her body is her career and it’s like money. She should not spend any of it on anything which precludes her from reaching her goals. Venus loves Serena and Serena her. Venus will understand, but Serena has to stop with this false macho Superman imitation. The only one being fooled by the Superman/woman imitation is Serena herself. She is not indestructible. She should let it go, and save herself for singles.

    I deeply admire Serena Williams. I hope she will be convinced to take this three pronged approach to preserve her athletic abilities. If she does, she will succeed in all her goals If she does not, there will be less wins and her career like Andrea Agassi’s will come to end sooner than later.


    Pastor Burt Wilkins.