Serena Williams’ tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

Serena Williams' tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

 

Serena Williams, who tops the all-time women’s Grand Slam charts with a staggering 23 titles, will seemingly be absent from tennis for a while longer as long-term coach Patrick Mouratoglou has stated that he is now the full-time coach of Simona Halep. Williams’ future remains up in the air as the 40-year-old struggles to return to fighting shape after being struck down with injury last year.

 

Serena Williams' tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

Williams has been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in the first round at Wimbledon in 2021. Aliaksandra Sasnovich benefited from a walkover in that match before Ashleigh Barty went on to lift the trophy at SW19.

 

Serena Williams' tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

The Michigan-born tennis sensation’s absence now totals almost one year. She was ruled out of the Australian Open back in January after claiming she was ‘not where she needed to be physically to compete’. Williams’ return to the sport is now a matter of debate after Mouratoglou, who became her coach a decade ago, came clean on a private chat which preceded his switch to coaching Halep.

 

Serena Williams' tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

“Today, I am starting a new chapter in my coaching career: I am now the full-time coach of Simona Halep,” he said in a social media statement. “In the last eight months, I realized how much I missed coaching. “It is the passion of my life, and I still feel like I have so much to give. Simona came to the Mouratoglou Academy before Indian Wells for a training block. I swung by at a few practices, watched her train.

 

Serena Williams' tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

“At the end of the week, she asked me if I was available to coach her. I have the highest respect for her but it was out of the question at the time. A few weeks later, I had a conversation with Serena, and the door opened for me, at least short term, to work with someone else. I will keep you updated on what’s coming next soon.”

 

Serena Williams' tennis future in doubt after coach links up with Simona Halep

Halep turned professional in 2006 and has since won two Grand Slam titles of her own at the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon the following year. The Romanian 30-year-old ranks fourth all-time in terms of prize money, but was toppled at Indian Wells by new world number one Iga Swiatek last month.

The timescale for Williams’ return remains broadly unknown, although Mouratoglou’s move hardly suggests that it will come any time soon. Tennis has proven itself to be an extremely demanding sport in the past, and Barty shocked the world at the end of March by announcing her retirement at the age of 25.

The Australian said she had given ‘everything she can’ to the sport and would go on to ‘pursue other dreams’.

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