Serena Williams, seeded sixth at the Championships this year, will begin her bid for a record-tying 24th Slam when she takes on Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round on Tuesday. The 39-year-old last won a Major at the Australian Open in 2017, and has fallen short in four finals since then.
At the recent Roland Garros, Williams suffered a shock fourth-round exit at the hands of Elena Rybakina. Many regard that as a missed opportunity given all four of the eventual semifinalists were playing at that stage for the first time in their career.
Patrick Mouratoglou admitted that Serena Williams' loss in Paris could be perceived as a lost opportunity, but added that his charge was "not ready" to win a Slam at that moment.
"Yes, I understand that point," Mouratoglou said in a recent interview for Metro.co.uk. "But I knew she (Serena Williams) wasn’t ready. She was more ready than in Rome but still not ready enough to win a Grand Slam."
Mouratoglou went on to claim that Williams exceeded expectations at Roland Garros, given her preparation levels. He then asserted that the 39-year-old still has the ability to "crush" any opponent if she is mentally and physically ready.
"I think she's gone quite far considering how ready she was," Mouratoglou added. "But if you're not ready, you're not ready. That's how it is. I don’t have regrets thinking, 'Oh shit, we had an opportunity.' I think it's all about her. You can put the hardest draw on the planet; if Serena is ready, she's going to crush everyone. That's what I think."
The star French coach further opined that Serena Williams is unlike any other player, and that she holds the cards in all her matches irrespective of who is on the other side of the net.
"I have respect for all the players but Serena is different," Mouratoglou said. "It's more about finding her. If she finds herself, the way she is when she’s Serena then whoever is in the draw is not going to be a threat."
We haven't been able to find the real Serena Williams back yet: Patrick Mouratoglou
Mouratoglou believes the 39-year-old is "more ready" for Wimbledon than she was at Roland Garros. The Frenchman is bullish about his ward's chances at SW19, and he reiterated that no player can stop Williams once she gets going.
"She's much more ready than Roland Garros," Mouratoglou continued. "We had two more weeks. Every day is a day for her to be more ready. I still feel optimistic (about her chances at WImbledon). I still think that Serena is Serena. When she processes things like Serena does, I don’t think anyone can stop her."
According to Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams is yet to regain her peak form, especially in the big matches. He believes that while his ward has no issues with her racket skills, she is yet to enter a Slam fully prepared and raring to go.
"We haven’t been able to find the real Serena back yet, the one that finds her best tennis in the biggest matches," Patrick Mouratoglou said. "She’s played some good matches here and there. The tennis is here, I think. It’s about being ready for the Grand Slams. For example, at Roland Garros she wasn’t ready. We didn’t have enough time to get the form needed."