Serena Williams once again came up short in her attempt to win a record-equalling Grand Slam and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou concedes that they have to come up with “a different strategy” to achieve their goals.
Having made her return to competitive tennis only a few months after giving birth to her daughter in September 2017, former world No 1 Williams reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals in both 2018 and 2019.
However, she lost all four finals in straight sets.
Much was expected from the 23-time Grand Slam winner at this year’s Australian Open after she won in Auckland in the build-up to the season-opening Grand Slam.
The 38-year-old lost in the third round at Melbourne Park against Wang Qiang and Mouratoglou admits they have to consider changing things.
“We have to accept the fact that it is not working,” he told BBC Sport.
He added: “Maybe come back with a different angle, a different strategy and different goals so she can make it.
“She does feel positive, she feels negative too because it is a failure when she doesn’t win a Grand Slam.
“We have to face reality, but she is positive that she can make it otherwise she probably wouldn’t be on a tennis court anymore.
“She believes she can make it and I believe it too. She’s not that far, but we have to change a few things.”
Williams’ title in Auckland at the start of January was her first since the 2017 Australian Open and her first since becoming a mother.
Many tipped her to go all the way at the Australian Open, but she never got going during her match against Qiang and later described her error-strewn performance as “unprofessional”.
“We didn’t expect at all to be losing so early, or to be losing at all,” Mouratoglou said.
He continued: “She had everything to retire, 23 Grand Slam titles. But she decided to come back, she decided to make all the efforts, the physical efforts, the mental efforts, to come back to the game, with the goal to score more Grand Slams and beat the all-time record.
“It’s difficult to know how many chances she will have, I don’t know how long she is going to be able to play, but being able to reach four Grand Slam finals says a lot about her level, and she’s not that far.
“Her level is good enough but we have to understand what is going on and why she is not able to win one. There is a big difference between reaching a final and winning one.”
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