Serena Williams has been working with Patrick Mouratoglou since 2012, raising her game to a higher level under a famous coach and standing as the most accomplished player of the Open era. Speaking about his pupil, Mouratoglou declares her the greatest player of all time, with our without that elusive 24th Major crown that has been running away from her.
Recalling their first season together, Patrick explained how Serena was pleased after reaching the Wimbledon semi-final, staying away from the court in the season's opening months and feeling happy about improving her ranking.
Mouratoglou reminded Serena that she could only think about winning big titles, which the American did in those weeks. Williams took down Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska for her third Wimbledon crown in the last four years.
Carried by this boost, Serena returned to the All England Club and lifted the Olympic gold medal in style to become the first player in tennis history with all four Majors and the Olympic gold in both singles and doubles!
Serena had to beat five top-20 rivals en route to a historic achievement, which was hardly an obstacle for her after dropping 17 games in 12 sets and playing probably her career-best tennis. On August 4, Williams toppled a former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in swift 62 minutes, notching her sixth win over the Russian in eight matches and embracing the Olympic glory.
Serena served perfect revenge for that 2004 Wimbledon final loss when Sharapova went all the way at 17, playing nowhere near that level eight years later and never standing a chance against the mighty opponent. Serena had 24 winners and just seven unforced errors in what has been one of the best matches she ever played, dominating serve and return to leave Maria miles behind.
Serena Williams lost one game against Maria Sharapova in London 2012.
The American saved both break chances and mounted the pressure on the Russian, stealing her serve five times from seven opportunities to march over the top.
Sharapova won only 25 points overall, barely hitting any winner and allowing Serena to dictate the pace with her strong serve and groundstrokes that proved too tough to handle. Keeping the points on her racquet, the American had the upper hand in the shortest and mid-range rallies, playing in full throttle and marching towards the desired title.
Serena fired three aces in the first game and broke at love after a forehand down the line winner for an instant advantage and a 2-0 lead. The Russian wasted a game point in game four with a double fault, and Serena punished her with another mighty forehand that propelled her 4-0 up.
Williams closed the fifth game with an ace, and Maria served to stay in the set after just 20 minutes. In that sixth game, the Russian moved 40-0 up before Serena climbed back and landed a backhand down the line winner for a set point.
She converted it after Sharapova's forced volley error to wrap up the opener 6-0 in just 30 minutes! Willams kicked off the second set with four winners before placing a return winner in the next one for her eighth straight game!
Maria was utterly powerless on the return and fell 3-0 down when Serena landed three winners before finally getting her name on the scoreboard after 45 minutes in game four thanks to an unreturned serve. Sharapova created a break chance at 1-3, denied by a forehand drive volley winner from Serena, who saved another with a backhand winner and brought the game home for 4-1.
A smash winner earned a break at 15 for Williams in game six. The gold medal was safely in her hands following four winners at 5-1, closing an incredible performance with an ace down the T line and writing another chapter of tennis history.
"Serena changed tennis and brought an athletic dimension that there was not there at all before her. Also, Serena brought business to women's tennis thanks to her aura and opened the door for other players to sign massive contracts.
Serena and I started working together in 2012, and I helped her reconnected with herself. She won Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, which gave her confidence to achieve plenty more in the years to come. She lost a single game against Maria Sharapova in the final of the Olympic Games, and that was her career-best tennis; she was untouchable," Patrick Mouratoglou said.