Patrick Mouratoglou on Serena Williams’ US Open withdrawal: ‘She can’t run properly. Playing is a risk’
Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, has revealed that the tennis great still experiences pain when running as her recovery process has taken longer than expected.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner has not played competitive tennis since she retired from her first-round match at Wimbledon after slipping and injuring herself.
The American confirmed on Wednesday that she would not feature at this year’s US Open as she has not completely recovered from the torn hamstring.
Six-time US Open winner Serena Williams withdraws from hard-court Grand Slam as she recovers from injury
In an interview with Tennis Majors, Mouratoglou says Williams simply ran out of time.
“It’s obviously a disappointment but this time, it’s not like a door slammed shut,” he said. “We were in a process to try to heal an injury. We knew we were late; we made everything possible. Day after day, we knew we had less chances.
“Ten days ago, the MRI showed that the injury (a torn hamstring) was still present. She couldn’t move. Where you are twenty days before a major event and you didn’t even run for six weeks and you can only play statically, you know it’s a bad start.
“We decided to make a final checkpoint a week before the event. The point was about moving without any pain. If this condition wouldn’t happen, it means that you know you can’t even practice. The withdrawal is the result of a process. We can’t say that the evolution of the process is bad; it’s just that it’s longer than expected.”
The Frenchman added that when Williams tried to run recently, she was still in pain and at that point they knew it would be too risky to play.
“Everything happened at her place, in Florida, both tennis and physio,” he said. “I went there one month before the US Open. The team was here, everyone did what would possibly be done: daily medical care, all that was possible in terms of physical preparation.
“After some weeks of this regime, she could use the racket with no leg movement at all, for two weeks. Then, last week, she played in very small perimeters — but she couldn’t avoid pain. We were far from regular tennis movements. Today she can’t run properly and she feels something after all. Pain means danger, and pain means that you can’t play as you should. But the point is that playing — just playing — is a risk.”
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