May/20

8

Serena said age 38 was her limit as a pro

Researching old Serena Williams press conference interviews for my book Facing Serena Williams, I found this interesting exchange with the Wimbledon media ten years ago…

Serena was asked after winning Wimbledon in 2010, 63 62 vs Zvonareva, if she would still be playing at age 38?


Serena Williams:  “38?”

Question: Yeah.

Serena Williams:  “If I am, I want you to personally take me off and escort me off the court. There’s no way I need to be out there at 38.”

Now 38, Serena will turn 39 on September 26 later this year.

Facing Serena Williams/Facing Steffi Graf double book (paperback) is available at www.lulu.com for $9.99

24 comments

  • Jeanius · May 8, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    If there is one person who can get her off the court it’s her daughter olympia

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 9, 2020 at 7:34 am

    That’s right Jean. I had forgotten Serena is a mother.

  • catherine · May 12, 2020 at 4:37 am

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 12, 2020 at 5:59 am

    Rezai is complaining about Mouratoglou but it seems to be unfair and unwarranted. Nothing extraordinary. Typical serious coaching guidance support. Rezai does not make any justified accusations. She sounds like a crybaby with an axe to grind. It pains to say this as I like rezai and did a biofile with her at Miami open. Mouratoglou may be an overrated and suspect coach with mediocre results outside Serena but he’s exonerated here.

  • Jon King · May 12, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Mouratoglou stayed in Palm Beach Gardens for 2 weeks and trained Serena after she had her baby at the same courts we were using. Its where they filmed the tennis parts of that HBO special.

    Patrick pretty much let Serena and the hitters do their thing. At that time it was the Jenkins brothers. They did hitting sessions then went onto the soccer field to do fitness. Mouratoglou gave a few suggestions now and then but was not very hands on.

    What Rezai describes is Tennis girl 101. Dad runs the show, sometimes stays the entire way like Kenin’s, sometimes gives the control to a coach at some point like Pova’s did.

    The amount of time is pretty standard. Even 10 year olds at academies are up early, jog, 3 hours of training, lunch, online school, 3 hours of training, dinner, tutoring, bed. Prison like? Thats the life of tennis kids with professional goals.

    Taking the credit card and phone? Alarm bells blare to me. Tennis dads and coaches and academies only do that when the player requires it. Some girls are all in on tennis, obsessed. Others want to text and socialize and sneak out to shop, etc. Sounds no different than the ups and downs of raising a teen, tennis or no tennis.

    Rezai sounds like she needs to blame and is also likely pumping up things to look worse. I highly doubt anyone woke her at dawn and demanded she run for “hours”. That would serve zero purpose for tennis. More likely she had to do morning fitness, sprints, weights, agility, etc. Our girls do 3-4 hour sessions of morning fitness so she sounds like she had it pretty easy.

    Mouratoglou is more of a business man and not a good tactical coach, she is right about that though. But she did have access to plenty of excellent coaches and hitters at his academy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 12, 2020 at 10:36 am

    What I remember about Rezai is she was very very nice, friendly, normal girl. And it looked like she had a less then champion like diet. Her weight was an issue. No matter how great or talented a player is, if they can’t move they can’t play. I like Rezai a lot, but I think she is unfairly blaming Mouratoglou for her failures here. What she says seems to be a futile, weak attempt to demonize Mouratoglou. For me, Mouratoglou loses no respect or cred by this media attack from Rezai. I wish Rezai the best and hope she can make a comeback in her 30s as several other WTA players have. She should try.

  • catherine · May 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Don’t think she sounds like crybaby exactly. I suspect Patrick doesn’t have the greatest sensitivity when it comes to dealing with different people and situations. I’ve seen similar comments in the past from other players. But he’s certainly a good businessman.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 12, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Catherine, if it was so bad under Mouratoglou, why didn’t she fire him at the first point of discontent? Why did she linger with him? Was he paying her to follow his coaching instructions? Was she trapped?

  • Jon King · May 12, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Very common story. Cell phone use, credit cards, fitness, nutrition and weight. Coaches, parents, and tennis girls will always battle over those.

  • catherine · May 12, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Scoop – I didn’t see Jon’s comment when I made mine (same problem with site) and it’s not clear why Rezai made her remarks, at least not to me, there’s no background, which is why I originally said ‘no comment’ – there was nothing more on ubitennis.

    Sounds like the father was in the mix, as Jon says, so there could have been reasons why she didn’t just walk away from the game. I don’t really know anything about her. But she was clearly talented, at least to a certain level.

    Lots of issues with coaches, specially girls, sometimes men as well, eg Thiem, and there’s always someone around looking to get a story out of events often years in the past. It’s easy to drag stuff up and make it sound terrible although the truth is very likely less dramatic.

    This ‘media’ business is a two-edged weapon, as you know. Player wants publicity, call a reporter. But then don’t blame the reporter for writing the story. Many celebrities play that particular tune.

  • catherine · May 12, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    It’s really difficult to keep a thread going coherently when comments just pop up willy nilly, which is one reason I’m not posting here much now. I can’t solve this from my end – obviously I would if I could. Just so irritating.

  • catherine · May 12, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    When I read the piece again the translation doesn’t read quite right – a couple of times it’s hard to know who she’s referring to, Patrick or her father. I guess someone’s picked out the most provocative quotes. I wonder why she stopped playing – retired ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 12, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Catherine, doesn’t it sound like she was paid by Mouratoglou to give him total control of her development? Otherwise why not just fire the guy at the first sign of trouble or major disagreement? We know Patrick is very ambitious and wants to have the image as the premier coach and academy owner in the world, he wants to be the latest greatest Bollettieri but with better results by his players. This latest drama reinforces the speculations Mouratoglou plays Serena, Tsitsipas, top juniors, to appear as one of their coaches. I asked Patrick directly this on a Facebook debate and he never answered it.

  • catherine · May 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Looks like some small domestic events with each country’s best players might turn out the way forward for the time being. Petra playing in Czech R. As far as UK goes, I was speaking to my Dr this morning and he sees the virus around for at least a year in some form. So all sports and entertainment will adapt.

  • catherine · May 13, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Kerber featured on the cover of German glossy ’emotion’, women’s mag majoring on – well, emotions it seems. Angie has plenty of those.

    Cover quote: ‘Ich probiert mich gern aus’. Which probably means a little more than the literal translation.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 13, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Harry Cicma pioneered the first pro tournamnet in Bradenton 3 weeks ago and now copy tournaments are springing up. More will too. Remains to be seen what the big elites will do, if they will just train in private or play some kind of event.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 13, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Cover girl Kerber has a ring to it. Maybe she can evolve into a cover girl post tennis. SHe has a strong pretty look.

  • catherine · May 14, 2020 at 12:58 am

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/may/13/golf-tennis-players-return-to-action-after-coronavirus-lockdown

    Some good news from here. The Wimbledon lawns were looking lovely but lonely.

    Angie’s been a cover girl for a while but at 32 I’m afraid her best days before the camera are probably behind her. She’s looking for other outlets. Free translation: ‘I like to try things out’. Hope that Angie, like other older players, can have a real tournament or two ahead at some point.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 14, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Democrats and their pawns like fauci sure seem intent on extending this b.s. for as long as possible eh? Perfect scheme to wreck a nation and steal an election. Put nothing past “spirit cooking” Satanists. We want normalcy and tennis back. Thank God we have some courts open here in NJ.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 14, 2020 at 11:01 am

    How come the tv networks never have on doctors or health nutrition experts recommending natural remedies and cures such aas vit c, vit d, colloidal silver, zinc, b17, natural herbs, turmeric, raw garlic, raw ginger? Does big pharma own the media via their huge advertising spending? When is the last time you were told our bodies can heal naturally and don’t need pharmaceutials? Is that strictly forbidden speak on network tv? Follow the $$$$$$.

  • catherine · May 14, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Looks like we’ll be hit by another virus wave this winter, according to experts with crystal balls, so I suspect it’s goodbye to AO and the ‘normal’ tennis season restarting anytime soon.

  • catherine · May 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    I’m sorry Scoop but if all these natural remedies worked the way you say nobody would ever be ill and everyone would die of old age.

    We live longer now than ever before and it’s all down to science. No BS.

  • catherine · May 14, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Scoop – This site has become so unstable, comments appearing and disappearing, and politics constantly intruding I’m feeling in agreement with Andrew. Cancel T-P and split into 2 sites, one for politics (I’m sure you’d have a zillion followers) and one for tennis, maybe encouraging long form posts – there isn’t anything like that as far as I know – more the magazine type.

    Unrealistic ? Perhaps. But the way T-P is now is simply beyond frustrating and annoying.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 14, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Catherine, no harm done, I strongly suspect political power and thirst to regain it is the reason why our world and the tennis world are shutdown right now. Politics and tennis unfortunately is a bad mix. Just let me vent every now and then, it’s my site. Some people ahve to vent 🙂 We should be discussting and reading Roland Garros previews now not some damned flu that came out of a Wuhan lab which for some unexplained reasons, got $3.7m from Obama and Fauci in 2015.

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