The 39-year-old American, one Grand Slam behind Margaret Court, faces second seed Simona Halep in the Australian Open quarter-finals on Tuesday.
“Serena Williams wants to win more Grand Slams but hardly needs the all-time record for validation“, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou said on Monday. Williams is bidding for a 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, which would match Margaret Court’s record.
“But clearly she came back to tennis to win some other Grand Slams, so that’s for sure the goal.”
Mouratoglou was also found making statements that Williams is not as obsessed about the 24th Grand Slam as other people in the tennis world are. But definitely, she wants to win the Grand Slams, that’s the only reason she came back to tennis.
It made little sense to compare Williams’s record, as 13 of the Australian’s Grand Slam titles came before the professional era which started in 1968.
Further, Mouratoglou said, “Williams at 39 was moving better than she had in three years on the court, and the team had placed a big emphasis on bringing back the “footwork” she had in the past”.
Footwork is tremendously vital in such a sport. Further, not having proper footwork took a toll on her few essential matches. If one cannot move well, then there is no plan B. Hence, the only plan is to attack.
In the last few years, Williams suffered from a lot of injuries and could not practice the way her coach wanted. Hence, she could not deliver a performance that was expected from her.
Further, it turned out as a vicious circle because when a player cannot practice well, then they are considered unfit for the match, according to Williams’ coach.
Mouratoglou comments on Halep’s game
Williams and Halep will clash on Tuesday in a highly anticipated quarterfinal match at the 2021 Australian Open. The last time they met, Halep beat her for the 2019 Wimbledon title.
The Wimbledon triumph was only Halep’s second victory in 11 matches played against Williams, but Mouratoglou saw it as something of a watershed for the Romanian.
“I think Simona played the perfect match in Wimbledon. It’s going to be a different process for her because she knows she can play like that against Serena, which she never did before,” said Mouratoglou.
“She will come probably with more confidence, and we’re prepared for that.”
It will be interesting to watch the upcoming Quarter Final. Both the players seem confident enough to give a tough fight to each other on the grounds of the Australian Open 2021.