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Serena can win French Open, Mouratoglou claims

Patrick Mouratoglou feels Serena Williams returned from maternity leave too soon, but expects her to be ready to challenge in Paris.

NEWS
News 14 May 2018, 20:30 IST
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Serena Williams - cropped
Serena Williams playing in Miami

Patrick Mouratoglou is confident Serena Williams will be fit for the French Open and would not be surprised if she is crowned champion in her grand slam comeback.

The 23-time major winner pulled out of the Madrid Open and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia to step up her training at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy.

Williams suffered an early exit at Indian Wells on her return from maternity leave in March before she was beaten by Naomi Osaka in the first round of the Miami Open.

Mouratoglou, the American's coach, acknowledged the 36-year-old returned to competitive action too soon, but expects her to be ready to go in search of a fourth title at Roland Garros.

"Serena will play the French Open to win it. Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything - after being her coach for six years, I'm even more sure of that statement," Mouratoglou told wtatennis.com 

"After her pregnancy, Serena had to rebuild her body. When she arrived at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, around April 30, we realised that she was not ready yet. The time she lost after the delivery with all the medical issues she had to go through, was missing,

"That is the reason why we decided to skip Madrid and Rome as she needed five weeks to be perfectly ready. Then we worked with my team in order to prepare a programme for her to get back in her best shape including nutrition, fitness and, of course, tennis.

"So far, things are going very well. She is working extremely hard, she is improving in all the areas fast. I am very satisfied and confident that she will be ready for Roland Garros.

"Serena clearly came back too early. She was not ready yet but needed to feel the competition, so she decided to play even though she was far from being at 100 per cent. It was a good experience as she realised all the work that needed to be done in order for her to be really ready.

"For Serena, playing at Roland Garros is something very special as she has not been able to participate in a grand slam for a year and a half.

"She obviously comes back to win and the wait has been long, so she will probably start Roland Garros with a mix of stress because she will want to do well and excitement because playing those events is the reason why she made such huge efforts to come back."

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