With Serena Williams sidelined, Patrick Mouratoglou to coach Simona Halep on full-time basis

With Serena Williams sidelined, Patrick Mouratoglou to coach Simona Halep on full-time basis

Patrick Mouratoglou, the longtime coach of Serena Williams, announced in a tweet Thursday that he will be working with former world No. 1 and two-time major champion Simona Halep on a full-time basis.

Williams, 40, has been sidelined from competition since having to retire with an ankle injury from her first-round match at Wimbledon in June 2021, and Mouratoglou said he missed coaching. According to his tweet, Halep trained at his academy in France prior to the BNP Paribas Open in March and then asked him if he was available to coach her. He initially declined the offer.

“I have the highest respect for her but it was out of the question at the time,” Mouratoglou wrote. “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.”

Mouratoglou’s post fueled the latest speculation about Williams’ potential retirement from the sport. However the 23-time major champion may have been seeking to dispel such notions with a video posted to her Instagram story later Thursday. Joined by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at a bitcoin conference in Miami, Williams indicated she will be returning to competition at Wimbledon in June.

“We’ve been talking about my comeback, and [Rodgers has] been hyping me up and getting me ready for Wimbledon,” Williams said.

The video ends with Rodgers pointing at Williams and saying, “She’s back.”

In December, Williams said she was “not where I need to be physically to compete” as she announced she wouldn’t be playing the year’s first Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Since then she has been mostly silent about her return to the sport or other plans, and her ranking has fallen to No. 246.

Williams has worked with Mouratoglou since 2012.

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Author: Shirley