Simona Halep ‘thought she’d be done with tennis at 30’, but Patrick Mouratoglou ‘made me love tennis again’

Simona Halep and Patrick Mouratoglou chatting

The first few months of Simona Halep’s partnership with Patrick Mouratoglou have gone so well that the two-time Grand Slam winner has decided to put all her eggs in one basket, saying “everything is Mouratoglou now, the team, it’s 100% him”.

After a difficult 2021 campaign that saw her struggle with injury and form, Halep announced in March that she had teamed up with Frenchman Mouratoglou.

The Romanian was looking for a new coach after she parted company with Darren Cahill in September 2021 while Mouratoglou was available on a full-time basis as Serena Williams was still out injured.

The duo immediately clicked as Halep reached the quarter-final of the Madrid Open and the semi-final at Wimbledon.

Asked about “leaving” Cahill and working with Mouratoglou, Halep replied: “First of all, Darren left me in September last year, so I didn’t leave him. Secondly, I will not compare because they are super different,” she said.

“What I can say in this moment it’s the best thing that could happen to me, to meet Patrick. He has super energy. He’s super kind. So it means a lot for me to work with people like this.

“All his experience and all his advice is amazing, so I’m enjoying a lot this period. He brought me back to love tennis, to love working, which never happened before. Now I’m just giving my best every day. We don’t have expectations in order of results. We just have expectations to work hard and to improve.”

The former world No 1 is currently in Washington D.C. for the Citi Open, but Mouratoglou won’t be in her coaching box as he will only join her for the Western & Southern Open.

The 30-year-old added: “Everything is Mouratoglou now. The team, it’s 100% him. Everything that is going around me, it’s about his academy and his-self. I made this change because I really felt to do it.

“I thought I will be done with tennis at 30, but now I started something nice and something new. Everything is completely new. So I will enjoy. Actually I’m enjoying already. I will see how good I can be in the future.”

Halep is seeded third at the Citi Open and she will face Cristina Bucsa from Spain in the first round on Monday.