Coach Patrick Mouratoglou revealed Serena Williams lacked confidence when they first started working in 2012 and one of his first goals was to encourage the American to only aim for the highest accolades.
Since teaming up with Mouratoglou, Williams has won a number of Grand Slams as she owns 23 Majors in her collection.
“At the very beginning, she was very lacking in confidence. She was not herself. But I knew who she was,” Mouratoglou explained to AFP.
“When she qualified for the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2012, when she was seventh in the world, I’m at the restaurant, she runs towards me with a smile, telling me ‘it’s great, whatever happens now I’m third in the world on Monday!’
– ‘It sucks’ –
“I told her ‘so what? I’m surprised you find that great, explain it to me.’ She felt really bad and didn’t answer me.
“But in the evening, she texted me: ‘Sorry for what I said earlier. Number three, it sucks, number two also.’ At that point, I reconnected her with herself.”
The Williams and Mouratoglou partnership was an instant success
“The Olympics in London were exceptional. She won Wimbledon and the confidence that this victory gave her made her walk on water,” Mouratoglou recalled.
“She pulverised everyone at the Games. In the final, it’s 6-0, 6-1 against Sharapova! This is where she played the best tennis of her life, she was untouchable.
“At the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, she won four consecutive Grand Slams, playing really well.
“In 2013, she told me that she hadn’t won Roland Garros for 11 years and would like to make it her goal. She didn’t lose a match on clay that year … She won Charleston, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros, Bastad. Even Rafael Nadal never did that.”
Williams hasn’t played since Wimbledon as he is battling an injury.