Simona Halep has a new coach: Patrick Mouratoglou, the longtime coach of Serena Williams.
Halep has had a strong start to the 2022 season but has been dealing with a muscle tear in her left thigh, which caused her to pull out of the Miami Open. She reached the semifinals at Indian Wells and is ranked 20th in the world.
Last September, the 2018 French Open champion announced her split from coach Darren Cahill, who suggested that she visit the Mouratoglou Academy.
Halep practiced with Mouratoglou ahead of Indian Wells and asked him to become her coach, but “it was out of the question at the time,” Mouratoglou wrote in a social media post.
“A few weeks later, I had a conversation with Serena, and the door opened for me, at least short term, to work with someone else,” Mouratoglou continued.
I am now the full-time coach of @Simona_Halep. pic.twitter.com/MRlkmeJyhw— Patrick Mouratoglou (@pmouratoglou) April 7, 2022
I am now the full-time coach of @Simona_Halep. pic.twitter.com/MRlkmeJyhw
In an interview with Tennis Majors, the coach said his connection with Halep came “super fast.”
“Sometimes you feel a connection straight away,” he said. “In Simona’s case, it was instantly, really. As I said, she’s super smart and she’s super sensitive also, and she was very open with me. So that was easy, in a way. She made my job easy in being open and giving me the feeling that she’s willing to work and fully commit to what we’re going to do.”
The move sparked speculation about Williams’ future in the sport, which she addressed in her Instagram Story on Thursday. The 23-time Grand Slam champion posted a video with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“We’ve been talking about my comeback, he’s been hyping me up and getting me ready for Wimbledon,” Williams said.
Mouratoglou and Williams have worked together for 10 years, but Williams has not played since going down with an injury at Wimbledon in 2021.