Patrick Mouratoglou is likely one of the figures of world tennis. Coach of a number of of one of the best gamers on the circuit for ten years, the Frenchman will be a consultant for France Télévisions throughout Roland-Garros, in 2022. The alternative for Tout le sport to take inventory with the historic coach of Serena Williams on the upcoming version of the French main, but additionally on the phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz and the athletes he has underneath his management. Maintenance.
All the game: We ought to attend this yr a very open version of Roland-Garros. What evaluation do you’ve for the following fortnight?
Patrick Mouratoglou: This yr’s version is very open. We cannot say that it had been for a variety of years due to a Spanish participant who received the whole lot (smile). And for the primary time this yr, even when he performed very effectively all season, his sudden damage will generate a scarcity of video games, will give Novak (Djokovic) the chance to get better and, abruptly, it is again on observe the playing cards. And there may be this well-known (Carlos) Alcaraz who by no means ceases to impress and who arrives like a cannonball.
Precisely, what Carlos Alcaraz has been doing for the reason that begin of the season is kind of dazzling. We even really feel in a position to get Roland-Garros this yr. Is this additionally your impression?
Honestly, sure. It sounds loopy, as a result of clearly there are the 2 monsters: Rafa and Novak. There can also be a gaggle of younger individuals who have imposed themselves for 2, three years with (Alexander) Zverev, (Daniil) Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas. There are nonetheless lots of people. And then there may be this teenager who arrives, who performs unbelievable tennis and who exhibits on paper what it takes to win. First the victories, as a result of he retains successful, distinctive bodily qualities – and we all know how essential this is in a event like Roland which is an actual marathon –, an unbelievable thoughts and a sort of energy. It seems like an extremely onerous steamroller to cease. A assured Rafa received with nice problem in opposition to him. We cannot put him among the many favorites, it will be loopy, however simply behind.
Can he subsequently win this yr at Roland-Garros?
Yes, Carlos Alcaraz can win Roland-Garros this yr. There is little question for me. It can do it, I’m not saying it will do it, however it has the power. He will final 5 units with none downside, he will final fifteen days with none downside, he has already crushed virtually all one of the best, he has no strain and an unbelievable bodily high quality and recreation. He’s progressing a lot that he’ll be very onerous to cease.
What impresses you most about Carlos Alcaraz?
All the gamers I do know who’ve performed in opposition to him for a very long time inform me: “How strong is he!”. Even gamers who beat him a yr in the past. And there may be already a world between the Alcaraz of a yr in the past and that of right this moment. He is a participant who’s progressing at an outstanding pace, it’s a signal, indisputably. When a participant burns the phases like him, usually, it is a very good signal. He impresses everybody with the standard of his shot, his bodily qualities and his potential to win. We have the impression that he has no doubts, that he feels on the stage of one of the best and that he has boundless ambition. There is nothing that satisfies him besides successful tournaments, and it does not matter which of them. If there have been checkboxes, he would test all of them.
You are additionally now coaching Simona Halep, why did you make this alternative?
It actually is a alternative of the guts. I’ve all the time carried out it that manner, I’ve all the time adopted my instincts. Simona is an distinctive participant who has already carried out improbable issues in her profession. We have already got a uncooked materials which is high, we now have a relationship of belief on which we are able to construct one thing. She nonetheless has the power to do a lot better than what she did right this moment. She’s 30, the identical age I began working with Serena (Williams). We are considerably in the identical configuration the place she has been enjoying much less effectively for 2 years, she asks herself a number of questions. We did two coaching classes, the mayonnaise took and he or she rapidly regained all her motivation.
And what about Serena Williams?
I do not wish to communicate on his behalf. We had a dialogue earlier than I began working with Simona. I requested her if she had plans to play once more within the quick time period, she gave me no reply. So I informed her that I wished to work and that, if she had visibility once more, we’d focus on it once more. Since then, she introduced that she wished to play Wimbledon on social networks, which stunned me, however it’s generally tough to decipher Serena’s language, though I’ve identified her for ten years.
Especially for the reason that finish of profession is approaching for Serena Williams…
Obviously, she will be 41 in September. She is a mom, she has many, many issues in her life. She is an completed businesswoman who has simply carried out a giant fundraiser for a fund she created to put money into tech. She already has sufficient to do for her subsequent life and for the following two even. But on the identical time, tennis is his life. She’s been enjoying it since she was 4 years previous, it is the factor that gave her essentially the most satisfaction and I believe it is onerous for her to give up. Hence these hesitations and it’s completely comprehensible.
You are additionally accompanying Stefanos Tsitsipas. What is lacking for him to get this grand slam, the place he’s lastly anticipated?
He does not miss a lot, however a number of issues on the identical time. You could make a grand slam last and win one, it feels prefer it’s not a lot: he missed a set. But hey, there you go, this set, it’s important to do it. There are nonetheless areas the place he can enhance. What is very good is that he has this need to progress, he has an awesome way of thinking and he’s very, very motivated. Last yr he had an awesome season. There are a number of areas of the sport the place he must be higher. Because at this stage, the slightest weaknesses will be utilized by the adversaries. I all the time search for the weaknesses of Novak and Rafa.
The season can also be very particular for Novak Djokovic. What is your view on the Serbian’s season?
There are two parts that weigh: clearly the shortage of matches and particularly the variety of defeats. He will not be a participant who’s used to shedding. In these tournaments, he by no means loses besides within the last in opposition to a Rafa or a participant like that. So for him, shedding within the third spherical in Dubai and even worse, within the first in Monte-Carlo, inevitably generates doubt. Added to that the departure of his coach, which continues to be historic for him and who accompanied him for thus lengthy. He had already had this interval of hesitation after separating from his coach.
And then there are all these tales that weigh. He unleashed the wrath round him and it isn’t a very calming context. If you add all of it up, it is quite a bit for a person. He was within the superb place to turn into the best, and there’s a setback. And that gave Rafa his confidence again. He cannot afford to not win Wimbledon and, ideally, he ought to win Roland-Garros too. He should get better instantly. If I have been in his place, I’d play small tournaments to win matches, all Novak he’s.
Rafael Nadal will be there for Roland-Garros together with his enamel scratching the ground. We know that he will be current to get better his title…
Have you ever seen Rafael Nadal with out his enamel scratching the ground? (laughs) It’s nonetheless certainly one of his best qualities. It’s true that after the defeat final yr he will come again with much more need, if doable, however in any case with a number of confidence. I do not suppose he is ever had a begin to the season like this, till he received injured. He will miss a number of matches however I believe we will have a Rafa with nice confidence at Roland, except he’s stopped by Novak, however not that of Monte-Carlo.