Serena Williams is chasing the elusive 24th Grand Slam title.
Serena Williams’ pursuit of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title is no secret, with the American herself admitting it is one of the few reasons why she is still playing tennis.
Williams, who is just one day shy of turning 40, last won a Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open. The triumph moved her to within one Slam of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Major titles.
Former players and experts have repeatedly claimed that Williams’ long list of achievements already makes her the GOAT, and Patrick Mouratoglou, the American’s long-time coach, echoed those sentiments.
In a recent interview with AFP, Mouratoglou claimed that while he would love for his charge to break Court’s record, Serena Williams would still be considered the GOAT even if she fails to do so.
“Yes, it would be better if Serena broke her record,” Mouratoglou said. “But, if she doesn’t, she will still be the greatest player of all time.”Patrick Mouratoglou at the 2019 Australian Open.
Mouratoglou said Court’s record came during a completely different era in which the competition was not nearly as tough as a section of top players did not often travel across countries to play at every Slam.
The Frenchman was quick to add that Serena Williams still had the game to win on the biggest stage, and it was just a question of how badly she wanted it.
“I don’t mean to disrespect Margaret Court, but it’s another era,” Mouratoglou reasoned. “[Court] was playing at a time when three-quarters didn’t even go to Australia (for the Australian Open), where tennis was an amateur sport, when the draws were 16 players.””[Serena] still has it. The question is how much she wants it and what is she willing to do to get there?” he added. “She is reflecting and we will see what comes out of it.”
Serena Williams and sister Venus changed tennis: Patrick Mouratoglou
Serena Williams (R) and Venus Williams (L) at the 2017 Australian Open.
According to Patrick Mouratoglou, the Williams sisters “changed tennis” by bringing in an “athletic dimension” to the sport that was not present in previous generations.
He added that Serena Williams’ dominance in the women’s game over the past couple of decades has been unparalleled. Citing the period between 2012-13 during which Serena Williams won three Grand Slam titles and the Olympic singles gold medal, Mouratoglou asserted that the American can be “untouchable” when she is at her best.
“[Serena] changed tennis,” Mouratoglou quipped. “She brought an athletic dimension that there was not there at all, she opened the doors, with her sister Venus, to a whole generation of players because it was a white sport.””[Serena] invented tennis intimidation because she has a presence that makes others fear her. For a very long time, it was impressive”, he continued. “The Olympics in London were exceptional. 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.”