Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, has opened up about the tennis legend’s determination to return after she fell pregnant, as well as how she has helped to create a “sport for everyone”.
Former world No 1 Williams went on maternity leave after she won the 2017 Australian Open and she gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia in September that year.
She had planned to make her professional comeback in January 2018, but only returned in March and later revealed she “almost died” following complications during birth.
Mouratoglou says Williams initially wanted to return to training shortly after she gave birth.
“I remember I was at Wimbledon and she was at home heavily-pregnant,” the Frenchman is quoted as saying by The Sun ahead of the release of an exclusive Eurosport documentary.
“She called me and said: ‘Can you please organise for me a hitting partner in September?’
“I just said: ‘Serena, you are giving birth in September.’
“And she just said: ‘Yes, when I deliver I want to start my training.’
“I replied that the doctors are not going to let her and she just said: ‘Do not underestimate me!’
“She thinks everything is possible for her. I have to say, knowing her much better now, that most of the time it is true.
“She is an icon all over the world, and thanks to her, black people have access to a sport that was very much a white sport and now it’s a sport for everyone.”
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