‘She was feeling heavy’: Coach admits shock at Serena Williams’ Australian Open exit but claims defeat to Qiang Wang ‘is going to help’ pursuit of record-equalling 24th Grand Slam win
There will be no let-up from Serena Williams in her pursuit of Grand Slam titles, even though her coach has admitted she was ‘feeling heavy’ in her third round Australian Open defeat.
Patrick Mouratoglou, the Frenchman who supervises her career, admitted that he was shocked by her exit to Qiang Wang that came on a day of shocks.
But he tried to put a semi-positive spin on it by insisting that it will increase her determination to match Margaret Court’s 24 Majors, albeit some of them having been won in an easier era.
Serena Williams suffered a shock defeat to crash out of the Australian Open in the third round
The 38-year-old was ousted in straight sets by 27th seed Qiang Wang in Melbourne on Friday
Coach Patrick Mouratoglou confessed he had not expected the surprise loss for the world No9
‘This is going to help, because for sure she is going to go back to work even harder,’ Mouratoglou told Eurosport.
‘She wants to win a Grand Slam again, she wants to win several if possible. She will work very hard for that and will work hard every single match.’
Defeat to the Chinese number one blindsided Mouratoglou, who confessed: ‘We know what can happen in a Grand Slam and in a tennis match but we didn’t see that coming at all.
Williams took a break from tournaments between September’s US Open and the start of 2020
Defeat meant Williams failed in her latest bid to equal the women’s record of 24 Major triumphs
Williams is one Major short of the 24 won by Margaret Court, who retired from tennis in 1972
‘From the first points of the match, it was obvious she was moving extremely slowly compared to all the other matches…she was feeling heavy, she was not balanced when she was hitting the shots, so she was not able to play as aggressive as she usually does.’
The upsets continued yesterday in the women’s singles when number two seed Karolina Pliskova was beaten 7-6 7-6 by Anastasia Pavluychenkova of Russia.