Long break helps Serena


    MUMBAI. — Serena Williams is as motivated as ever to add to her 23 Grand Slam singles titles and the COVID-19 shutdown could end up helping her in that quest, the American’s long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou has told Reuters.

    Williams, who turns 39 in September, has reached four Grand Slam finals since giving birth to daughter Olympia in 2017 but failed to win any of them and remains one major title short of Margaret Court’s record of 24.

    The tennis season came to a halt in March when world sport went into lockdown due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and the hiatus will continue at least until the end of July.

    Frenchman Mouratoglou said Williams had been able to recharge during the break and that her appetite for titles had not waned.

    “First of all, it was good for Serena because she had time to rest and her body needed rest,” he told Reuters by telephone.

    “Second, her motivation hasn’t changed. She’s still as motivated as before to win more Grand Slams.”

    Mouratoglou, who has been working with the American since 2012, said experienced players like Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were best equipped to hit the ground running when tennis restarts.