WTA

Serena Williams' long-time coach Mouratoglou switches to Halep

By Sports Desk April 07, 2022

Patrick Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of Serena Williams, has confirmed he will now work with Simona Halep.

Mouratoglou began coaching Williams in 2012 and has guided the former world number one to 10 grand slam titles and a further six major finals.

However, the last of those triumphs came in 2017, with Williams still one major success shy of matching Margaret Court's long-standing record of 24.

Williams reached the semi-final of last year's Australian Open, losing to Naomi Osaka, before subsequently going out in the last 16 at Roland Garros.

But the 40-year-old has not featured since retiring due to an injury in the first round to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon and is now ranked as the world number 246.

And it does not appear as though Williams will be making a return to the WTA Tour soon, with Mouratoglou explaining that, at least in the short term, he will be coaching former world number one Halep.

"Today, I am starting a new chapter in my coaching career: I am now the full-time coach of Simona Halep," Mouratoglou tweeted on Thursday.

"In the last eight months, I realised 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 of her practices, watched her train.

"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."

World number 20 Halep endured an injury-hit 2020 and 2021, and split with long-time coach Darren Cahill in September of last year. The Romanian has won two grand slam titles, triumphing at Roland Garros in 2018 and Wimbledon the following season.

She has reached three other major finals and enjoyed a strong start to 2022, triumphing at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 prior to the Australian Open, in which she reached the round of 16.

Runs to the semi-finals at the Dubai Tennis Championship and Indian Wells Open have followed, though the 30-year-old will be hoping Mouratoglou can help her recapture the form she showed to end 2017 and 2018 on top of the WTA rankings.

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