Serena Williams has won the ASB Classic with a win over American Jessica Pegula in the final on Sunday and said she was feeling super-fit ahead of the Australian Open, where she will be chasing her record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title.
Part of the reason for her super-fitness was the training camp she attended in December with coach Patrick Mouratoglou. The camp, branded “Mouratoglou Preseason”, was held by her coach at the Mouratoglou Academy in the south of France in December and included boxing legend Mike Tyson, 15-year-old teen superstar Coco Gauff, fitness trainer Shaun T., musician Bob Sinclar, former world No.
1 Victoria Azarenka and rising Danish junior Holger Rune. There were several tailor-made programmes for the players as well as a series of team-building exercises and other activities. In an interview to the Metro UK, Mouratoglou says, "I have been organising pre-seasons with the Mouratoglou Academy for almost 10 years.
But this time, I wanted to make it different. I came up with the idea of combining a classic pre-season – focused on both building solid physical bases for the next year and getting ready tennis-wise – with pure team-building moments.
I thought that the presence of those champions from many different fields other than tennis would be an amazing opportunity to exchange ideas about greatness, success and competition. I believe that this pre-season was a great experience for both of them (Serena and Coco).
The job as a tennis player can be very monotonous, that’s why I believe extending the team, exchanging ideas, living some great group moments together during meals and activities are giving them some excitement and makes for a change from their daily routine.
They have all prepared very well and I know they are ready to do well. Each player is different and needs a custom-made practice. First of all, every week is different. Usually, players like to focus more on the physical side and put on more hours there during the first weeks, and then insist more on the tennis and lighten the fitness.
The start of the pre-season is dedicated to re-establishing the bases of the game, then to improving details or learning new things and finally the closer to competition, the more they focus on playing points. Serena and Coco have different needs, of course, but they both want to improve and get better.
Serena’s goal has always been to win Grand Slams and this has never changed or will never change. Coco’s goal has always been to win Grand Slams, too. She did it as a junior and is looking forward to doing it as a pro.’ Speaking about the inclusion of boxing legend Mike Tyson as part of the camp, Mouratoglou says, "I wouldn’t say that they can “learn lessons” [from Tyson], rather get inspiration from another great champion.
It is always so interesting and motivating to exchange on topics and situations that only the greatest can relate to and have experienced – and sometimes not dealt well with. Mike actually has such a great feedback to give.
His experience about life, about what you go through in your career, about the athlete-coach relationship are extremely valuable and I am very glad to have given Serena and Coco this opportunity.’