June 20, 2024
Serena Williams

Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slams in her career, more than any female player in the Open Era. But such a monolithic achievement doesn’t come out of thin air. It takes commitment, dedication, and most of all, a ‘champion mentality’, as her former coach Patrick Mouratoglou explains. The 53-year-old coach took to Instagram and shared an anecdote about Serena Williams from when they first started training together. This story is yet another reason that proves why she is the greatest.

Patrick Mouratoglou was Serena Williams’ coach from 2012 to 2022. In his Instagram video, Mouratoglou explained the kind of hunger Williams had for winning tournaments back in 2012. It was insatiable.

Mouratoglou wrote in his Instagram caption, “What Serena Williams said five minutes after winning Roland-Garros in 2013 shows the mindset of a great champion. Here’s why the very best players don’t necessarily have time to celebrate a victory – because they’re already moving on to their next goal.”

He then went on to narrate the incident in detail. The story indicates that Serena Williams cared about winning more than anything else in the world. She didn’t even have the compulsion to celebrate her win.

Mouratoglou said, “With Serena we started working together in 2012. And in 2012, she wins Wimbledon and the US Open. She tells me, ‘Now I want to achieve another goal, which is to win Roland-Garros. I won it only once in 2002 and I want to win it again.’ And in 2013, she wins Roland-Garros. When she wins, there is a trophy ceremony and when she gets out of the court, she comes to me and she says, ‘Okay, let’s do the cooldown.’ So we go in the fitness room and after 5 minutes she looks at me and she says, ‘Now we have to win Wimbledon.’ After 5 minutes, she already forgot that she won Roland-Garros which is a tournament she was trying to win for 10 years, already focusing on winning the next one, which was Wimbledon. This is the mindset of the champions. As soon as they achieve something, they immediately think about a new goal, another one.”

Serena Williams may not have won the 2013 Wimbledon after her French Open win, but she didn’t rest. She finally won the 2013 US Open. This relentless, incessant need to always give the best, even if there are hiccups along the way, is what champions are made of. Serena Williams’ mentality is what set her apart from all her contemporaries.

With Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams won the Wimbledon three times in 2012, 2015, and 2016; the Australian Open two times in 2015 and 2017; the French Open two times in 2013 and 2015; and the US Open three times in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In total, they won 10 Grand Slams together. It was a fruitful partnership.

Serena Williams’s magnificent return to the French Open in 2013
As a young girl, Serena Williams won the 2002 French Open, beating her sister Venus Williams 7-5, 6-3 in the final. For a decade after that, she never won the clay-court Grand Slam. In 2013, Serena Williams had locked her gaze upon the Simonne-Mathieu Trophy. She started her campaign in the most dominant fashion possible. Williams beat Anna Tatishvili of Georgia 6-0, 6-1 in the first round. After that, the American defeated the likes of wildcard Caroline Garcia, Sorana Cirstea and Roberta Vinci in straight sets.

Williams was bulldozing everyone on her way to the Roland-Garros crown. In the quarter-final, Williams faced a challenge of sorts, when she lost her first set of that tournament. Williams was ahead 6-1 but lost the second set, 3-6 to Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. In the final set, however, Williams won 6-3 and advanced into the semis. Once again, she completely outplayed her opponent, Sara Errani in the semi-finals.

In the final, it was an age-old competition between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. In the end, Serena Williams won 6-4, 6-4, and completed a remarkable French Open campaign. She truly walked the talk.

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