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‘She Plays With Pain All the Time’ – When Coach Patrick Mouratglou Found an Uncanny Resemblance Between the Injuries of Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal

Legendary American tennis player Serena Williams had plenty of coaches, but the coaching partnership with Patrick Mouratoglou has been one of the most successful ones in her career. Notably, the French coach joined Serena’s camp back in 2012.

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In 2015, he talked about one particular issue with the American tennis star, as it was kind of worrying him. The French coach talked about Serena’s knee injury and compared it with Rafael Nadal’s knee injury, which was one of the biggest injuries in his career.

Patrick Mouratoglou talked about Serena Williams’ knee injury, comparing it with Rafael Nadal
In 2015, Serena Williams lost in the semi-final against an unseeded Italian player, Roberta Vinci. According to Mouratoglou, that loss shocked Serena. However, the French coach revealed that she was playing the match with pain in her knees. In an interview, Mouratoglou drew parallels between her injury with Rafael Nadal‘s injury.

“It’s the same as Rafa. It’s just playing for so many years, the cartilage is [almost] gone. Not all of it, but a big part, so the bones just hit themselves. There was no other option, and we knew that at some point we had to do it, because she plays with pain all the time,” he said in an interview.

Serena Williams of the United States with coach Patrick Mouratoglou while practicing on Court Philippe-Chatrier in preparation for the 2021 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 27th 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
“The injury can get really worse, and at her age her career could really be in danger if she went too far and got more injured, like Rafa did in the past. He kept on playing with the same problem and then it got worse and he had to stop for almost a year, we don’t want this to happen. She is 34, if she has to stop for a year then it is really bad for her future,” he further said.

However, Serena did return to training later, as she was raring to go again in the following season.

Since joining Mouratoglou, Serena Williams has won 10 of her 23 Grand Slam titles, as they had plenty of success on the court. In 2021, Serena suffered a first-round exit at the Wimbledon Championships, as she injured her hamstring during the match. Since then, she hasn’t had any games for nearly a year.

Before making her return to the grass court, the French coach and Serena parted ways; as Mouratoglou missed coaching and Serena was not playing for a long time. After discussing with Serena, Mouratoglou decided to split with Serena and joined the former world, no.1 Simona Halep. Notably, under Mouratoglou, Halep reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon recently.

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