Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou recently opened up about his split with the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion. Mouratoglou's comments, which suggested a bizarre end to their working relationship, drew varied reactions from tennis fans on social media.
In his statement, the Frenchman claimed that when he approached Serena Williams a few weeks before the 2022 French Open, she didn't seem clear about her future plans. After their time together officially ended, Mouratoglou teamed up with Simona Halep, whom he now coaches.
In the wake of Mouratoglou's comments, fans have wasted no time in expressing their views on the 10-year association and the way it ended.
"Not Mouratoglou giving an ultimatum to Serena. Like how dare you," a fan wrote on Twitter.
"Mouratoglou playing victim here and accusing Serena of indecisiveness... how low! Besides Serena returning at RG, what nonsense? She was already an established GS champion before he even appeared on her radar (as a coach). She can retire on her own terms," another fan wrote.
Towards the end of his chat with Serena Williams, Patrick Mouratoglou told the American that he would consider himself free and independent of their association if she did not arrive for training the following Monday.
"I asked her if she wanted to go to Roland Garros," the 52-year-old said. "She told me he didn't know. It was six weeks before the tour. I told her I was waiting for her on Monday for training and if she didn't come I would consider myself free."
Mouratoglou further stated that he felt like taking a break from coaching altogether after the incident, due to a lack of motivation.
"After Serena decided to take a break, I confessed to my loved ones that I feel like I'm done with coaching," the Frenchman said. "I knew that one of my strengths was that I had a lot of enthusiasm for my work. Without this enthusiasm I can't be a good coach. I felt like I had lost it."
Meanwhile, another fan suggested that we may have already seen the last of Williams on the tennis court, but expressed hope that that wasn't the case.
"She's the best ever. I'm not a fan of hers. But I'm sure I'd weep saying goodbye to such a monument. I hope she gives us that chance. To pay homage to a legend."
A look back at the successful partnership between Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou
Patrick Mouratoglou joined Serena Williams - who was a 13-time Grand Slam champion at the time - after her early loss at the 2012 French Open. In their first year together, Williams won the 2012 Wimbledon championships before going on to win four more titles towards the end of the season.
They have won nine more Grand Slam titles as a player-coach pair - two titles each at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the French Open, and three at the US Open. Williams also had a 34-match unbeaten run in the 2013 season, which saw her win 78 matches against just 4 losses all year.
Serena Williams won the Olympic gold medal in both singles and doubles at the 2012 London Games. During her association with Mouratoglou, the American also secured three year-end championship titles.
Their last Major title came at the 2017 Australian Open.