Coach Patrick Mouratoglou suggested in a recent interview for ESPN that Serena Williams might skip the rest of the season and now the information is out that the American will indeed not play any more tournaments in 2015.
— China Open (@ChinaOpen) October 1, 2015
Although the all-Italian US Open final was fresh and exciting, the tennis world was still reeling from Serena Williams' unexpected loss to Roberta Vinci. It goes without saying that the defeat shocked Serena herself, but Mouratoglou revealed just how much of a blow it dealt.
Mouratoglou, who has coached Serena since just after her first-round exit in the 2012 French Open, recently expressed that he doesn't think it wise that the world number one participate in the year's remaining tournaments, including the China Open and the WTA Finals, and Serena has apparently accepted his strategies.
She was two matches away from something really big, so it was very painful. Any loss is very painful for her, but this one even more than usual, so it just takes time to recover from it. When the motivation comes back, which I don't doubt it will, then it will be time to start tournaments again.
The French coach points to mental and emotional stress from the loss rather than physical stress, as Serena is now coping with the shattered expectations of a Calendar Slam, something only one other woman has achieved. In addition to pressure from eager tennis fans and critics, Williams faced her own sky-high expectations, and now must find new ways to motivate herself in the aftermath.
I don't doubt she will have the motivation to win more Grand Slams and reach records. I'm just thinking about the end of the season, and I don't know how high the motivation is, and I don't think she should go play competitions if her motivation is not high enough.
Even though Mouratoglou's statements are all about mental readiness for competition, the official reasons stated for the withdrawal are that Serena wants to address her health and heal. (photo: @Sportnotizie24)