Former World No. 1 Simona Halep is set to team up with seasoned coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who has worked with Serena Williams since 2012. Mouratoglou unveiled the news in a social media post on Friday, disclosing that he decided to explore other prospects after much deliberation with Williams.
Halep had previously worked with Australian coach Darren Cahill for six years until last September. Under Cahill's tutelage, the 30-year-old won her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 Roland Garros and clinched the No. 1 ranking. She later added Romanians Adrian Marcu and Daniel Dobre to her entourage, but decided to go solo after the 2022 Australian Open.
The Frenchman has not actively coached since Wimbledon in 2021 owing to Serena Williams' injury. Mouratoglou, who steered Williams to 10 Major titles, revealed that he missed being a coach in the last eight months and wanted to continue imparting his expertise.
"Today, I am starting a new chapter in my coaching career: I am now the full-time coach of Simona Halep," Mouratoglou said on social media. "In the last 8 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."
The 51-year-old divulged that Halep brought up the idea during her week-long training session at his academy in France earlier this year. He declined Halep's offer at the time, but was later given the go-ahead after a conversation with Serena Williams.
"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 continued. "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," the 51-year-old said.
"Simona Halep is a champion and she is still very hungry" - Patrick Mouratoglou
Patrick Mouratoglou spoke about his collaboration with Simona Halep in a recent interview with Tennis Majors. He emphasized that the Romanian is hungry to achieve success and is capable of winning more Slams.
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"She has been No. 1, she has won Grand Slams (Roland Garros 2018, Wimbledon 2019)," said Mouratoglou of the two-time Major winner. "There is no reason why she couldn’t or she wouldn’t be able to do that again. She’s a champion. I also feel that she has a big margin for improvement in many aspects, and she’s still very hungry. So I think it’s a fantastic basis to build something and with the goal to do at least as good as before."
Simona Halep last took to the court at Indian Wells, where she lost to eventual champion Iga Swiatek in the semifinals. A leg injury forced her to pull out of the events in Miami and Charleston. She is slated to kickstart her partnership with Mouratoglou ahead of the Madrid Open, which begins on 28 April.
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