Tennis

Patrick Mouratoglou issues Serena Williams update as she begins preparations for US Open

Serena Williams is fit and ‘practising well’ as she prepares to restart her season at the inaugural Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky next week.

Williams’ last match was in February when she represented the United States against Latvia in Fed Cup.

A few weeks later the tennis season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic but after five months competition on the WTA Tour is finally getting back underway.

A strong field has been assembled at the Top Seed Open with Williams joined by her sister Venus, Sloane Stephens, Victoria Azarenka and American teenage duo Coco Gauff and Amanda Anisimova.

The tournament will serve as a warm-up event for Williams ahead of the US Open, which starts on August 31.

Williams has opted not to play in any exhibitions since the easing of lockdown restrictions, instead choosing to practise at her home and stay with her family.

When Williams’ participation at the US Open was confirmed, tournament director Stacey Allaster revealed the court that will be used in New York had been installed in her backyard.

But competitive matches will be the best indicator to the state of Williams’ game.

And to help in the preparations, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou will be by her side once again, following the success of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown at his academy in France.

Speaking in an interview with Express Sport, Mouratoglou was in a positive mood about Williams and said the 38-year-old was gearing up to ‘lock-in’ for challenges that lie ahead.

“She’s doing well. She’s practised really well and as much as she can,” he said.

“When you have a date for your next tournament, that’s the extra motivation all the players need because they are used to having short-term goals.

“They all have long-term goals but without the short-term goals, it is difficult to have 100 per cent dedication. And she is practising every day, very seriously.

“When you know you are going to play soon, suddenly you lock-in.

“The opportunity to play competition is so important for the preparation and that’s why Serena is playing at Lexington because she needs those matches like everyone.

“The ones that have played and have several matches under the belt is such a huge advantage.”

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