Hard work key for Serena's supremacy in tennis
Updated: 2013-10-06 18:10
Rome wasn't built overnight, and neither is Serena Williams' supremacy in women's tennis, said the 17-time Grand Slam champion's coach.
Watching Williams adding another title (China Open champion) to her dazzling trophy collection, which already includes 17 Grand Slam singles crowns, on Sunday, the US star's current coach Patrick Mouratoglou said the US star's born gift has little to do with her domination in the game.
"People might neglect her hard work on court, only paying attention to her born gift. Talent is not so important to succeed. That's not what makes the differences at all," Mouratoglou told China Daily during the China Open in Beijing.
"There are multiple reasons and first is her motivation. She mentioned she would do anything to win another major to be on the top again when we started."
By the time Mouratoglou started coaching Williams, she had just suffered her first ever Grand Slam opening round defeat at the 2012 Roland Garros. Since then, the Frenchman has guided Williams to four major titles (2012 Wimbledon, US Open and 2013 French Open and US Open), first Olympics singles gold and the annual year-end WTA Championships, and also lifted her back to world No.1 spot.
The accumulation of titles only makes Williams hungry for more, which has driven the 32-year-old to dig harder in practice.
"She practiced with a different status of mind. She is more focused in practice with better quality and higher intensity from the first minute. She also did a lot of physical strength to be faster. If you practice better and hit more intensely, that will translate in match. What you do in practice, you will find in match."
"She can be more patient in her game. In the past, if she is not dictating, she is in trouble. But now, she's fitter and faster, and she can be in the position to defend."
Upgrading her powerful style with speed and patience, has Williams reached the perfection that a female athlete could ever be? Not yet in the eyes of Mouratoglou.
"She needed a good preparation to improve her low level on a bad day. On a big day, she was always able to beat anyone. But this low level, I told her if we could find a way to improve, then the chance to beat her is much smaller."
The quarterfinal and fourth-round defeats that Williams conceded to compatriot Sloane Stephens and German Sabine Lisicki respectively at the Australian Open and Wimbledon proved Mouratoglou's concern.
With William's power unparallel in the female game, some pundits even suggested the American to try her shots in the men's competition but Mouratoglou, who used to guide high-ranking male player Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, never took it seriously.
"It's just a joke. Of course, she is not able to compete in the men's game though she's strong in the female game. Men's game is so physical and there is no comparison."