Exclusive – Revealing the Mouratoglou coaching methods that took Serena Williams to a new level

Patrick Mouratoglou and Serena Williams

He is the coach who has guided Serena Williams for the last decade and also works with a host of the game’s top stars, but what has made Patrick Mouratoglou the go-to guru for the game’s biggest names?

Stefanos Tsitispas and Coco Gauff are among the stellar names who are regular training at Mouratoglou’s Academy in Nice, while he has also opened up a sparkling new facility in Costa Navarino, Greece.

We sat down with Mouratoglou coach Konstantinos Fotinopoulos, who is fronting the coaching team with his brother Giannis Fotinopoulos (pictured below) at the Costa Navarino destination, as he gave us the lowdown on the methodology behind a coaching structure that is also guiding some of the game’s rising stars, such as US Open junior champion Robin Montgomery.

Give us the first key point you take into each training session?

The Mouratoglou methodology is based around the idea that every athlete should be treated differently, to suit their personal characteristics There is not one way that suits everyone. We adjust to each person. This is why we look to do personal programmes to suit each player. 

What else do you look to promote in each student?

The second point is we aim to develop the strong points of the athlete, working on their weakness after that. It is important to promote the weapons of a tennis player, not look to improve the parts of their game that are not so strong. So if a player is a defensive player and they are good at this, we don’t try and turn them into an attacking player. Let’s make their defensive game even better.

Is there a key point in the technical side of the game that can be taught to each player?

 Of course. We always focus on early preparation for each shot and we keep the words simple. Get the racket back early, be ready to play your shot and you will have a better chance to make a good connection. The key is to remind players of these points every time we see them. We want the player to have a quick reminder of the task and to work from there. 

How tough is it to move from a successful junior career to make it as a pro?

Many athletes are very talented and from an early age you can see that, but it is not so easy to say whether they can become a pro. A lot of things can affect that.  Firstly, an injury at a young age can have a big impact on whether a talented player can take the big steps needed to become a professional. 

What is your dream as a coach in the Mouratoglou tennis centre at Costa Navarino?

The dream for us as coaches is to see a player is to develop from a young player and develop. Go to the next stage, the next stage and then become the best player in the world. We have shown that Greece can produce top players with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari reaching the top of the game, so we have to believe there is more talent like this to be found in Greece and with the Mouratoglou team and methodology behind them, they can also reach the top of the game. That’s the dream.

For more information about the Mouratoglou Tennis Center, the new programs and experiences at Costa Navarino, visit https://www.costanavarino.com/mouratoglou-tennis-center/.