Former world number one Simona Halep has revealed why she’s hired Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
Halep is a two-time Grand Slam champion but last won a major at Wimbledon in 2019. The Romanian has also dropped outside the world’s top 10, having struggled with injuries in the past year.
And the 30-year-old believes that Mouratoglou is the man to guide her back up the rankings and challenge for Grand Slam silverware once again.
Halep hoping to get back “to the top” with Mouratoglou
Speaking to Tennis Majors, Halep said: “I asked to work with Patrick because I really want to get back to the top, and I felt like he’s the best person to help me to do that. I was lucky that he was actually available to do it with me. I want to get back to the top, and of course, I’m dreaming of another Grand Slam because that’s why I’m working every day.”
The Romanian also stressed that she wanted to get strong physically, in order to compete with some of the big hitters on the Tour.
“I would like to get stronger in the body as well, because to be offensive and to be close to the baseline [and] to play with the big hitters is not easy. So you have to be strong in the body. I will work on that, but also to open the court to use some angles a little bit better than before and actually to take the ball early.”
Second time lucky
Halep had wanted to work with the Frenchman for some time but Mouratoglou initially turned down the chance to coach the two-time Slam champion.
However, after speaking to Williams, he changed his mind and will now coach the world number 20 on a permanent basis.
“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,” he said.
Mouratoglou admitted he has missed coaching in recent months and that he still feels as though there’s more he can achieve.
“In the last eight months, I realized how much I missed coaching. It is the passion of my life, and I still feel like I have so much to give.”
One of the best coaches in the world
Having coached Williams since 2012, Mouratoglou helped the US star win 10 of her 23 major singles titles.
Other players he has worked with include, Coco Gauff, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov.
Speaking about what he can achieve with Halep, the 51-year-old said he was confident the Romanian could return to the very top.
“I don’t think we should put any limits,” he said. “She’s been number one, she’s won Grand Slams. There is no reason why she couldn’t or she wouldn’t be able to do that again.
“So there won’t be any limits. The goal is not to say this is what we aim for, because sometimes you go even much further than what you think.
“The goal is to probably one day stop her career thinking, ‘I’ve done the maximum of what I could have done.’ And I think she has many years to go until she stops, and those many years, we want to make the best out of them.
“I think she has still such potential to improve in many aspects of her game. So it’s very exciting.”