Patrick Mouratoglou: On the Coaching Violation Given Serena Williams in 2018 US Open Final:
“Do I regret it? No. Would I do it again tomorrow? Yes.”
(September 1, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The coach of Serena Williams, Patrick Mouratoglou, took part in a news conference at the US Open on Sunday as part of the WTA initiative to have coaches talk to the media. During last year’s US Open final, where Williams lost to Naomi Osaka, the 23-time major champion was given a coaching vioaltion,
Mouratatoglou was asked the following question in his news conference in regard to last year’s US Open final:
Q. A tough question. When you look back to last year’s final, do you regret making the gestures that you did? What do you say to yourself? In some cases, when a coach would do that, the player might say, Get out of here, we’re done. The two of you have stayed together. Talk about that bond and that loyalty.
It’s not going to be a short answer. You know that. Tough question requires long answer.
I disagree with the fact that the player could say to the coach he should leave because he did the coaching, he provoked a coaching violation. Because the player asked the coach to coach them at every match. I’m on tour for 20 years, and we all know that. They all do it because also the players want them to help, you know.
And because everybody is doing it, of course, as a player, you want your coach to do it, too. Otherwise you’re penalized compared to all the others.
I take this example because I think that’s exactly the reality of the tour. You’re not supposed to — when the fire light is red, you’re not supposed to — you’re supposed to stop. If nobody stops, the police is here and they don’t say anything, the rule becomes — the use becomes the rule.
That’s exactly the story of coaching. On paper it’s not authorized. Everybody coaches. I mean, let’s not say everybody because it’s never everybody, but let’s say 90%, it’s probably more, but let’s say 90. You see that every day on every court. Everybody knows it. Chair umpires are very nice with that. They don’t care much. If really it’s too obvious they would say, Please be careful. It’s too obvious. Then they are more discreet. That’s what you see every day.
Why a player should fire a coach because he gets a warning for that? Doesn’t make sense to me.
So this is to answer the second question. Do I regret? Not at all. Not at all. For me, I didn’t do anything bad. I just did what all the coaches do.
As I said, and I say it again, I usually never do it. So that was extremely unfair, because he penalized somebody — he knows I’m not doing it. I did it once. Nobody gives a warning for the first time. They just tell you, Be careful. Actually tell you to be careful usually after four or five times. Anyway, so I think it was completely unfair.
Do I regret? No, I felt like she was lost at that moment and I tried to help her doing something that everybody does that is the use of the tennis.
I would do the same tomorrow. Really. 100%. And if I’m penalized again, I think it’s unfair the same way. If I’m penalized, then everyone should be penalized every day. And nobody is. Nobody. Once every — you know how it is. I’m okay to be penalized if I did something really bad that is not — when you smash the racquet, you always have a warning. This is really the rule and the use.
So this is something nobody complains about because we know that — I think it’s the most stupid rule. I don’t think we should get penalized for that. That’s how it is.
This is fine. But when you never, and nobody is penalized or almost never, I don’t think it’s fair. So do I regret? No. Would I do it again tomorrow if it’s necessary? Yes.