Patrick Mouratoglou, the longtime coach of Serena Williams, has announced that he will be coaching another former world no.1 in Simona Halep.
The coach of the decade’s new partnership with the two-time grand slam winner has raised doubts about Williams’ return to tennis.
The 23 major singles title winner Williams has not competed on the tennis circuit since hurting her right hamstring in a first-round match at Wimbledon in late June last year.
Halep and Mouratoglou announced their partnership on Twitter.
“Today I am starting a new chapter in my coaching career: I am now the full-time coach of Simona Halep. In the last 8 months, I realized how much I missed coaching,” Mouratoglou wrote on Thursday. “It is the passion of my life, and I still feel like I have so much to give.”
Halep announced in September she would no longer be coached by Darren Cahill after six years together.
Mouratoglou said Halep, a 30-year-old from Romania who won the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019, went to his tennis academy for a training block before last month’s tournament at Indian Wells.
“At the end of the week, she asked me if I was available to coach her. I have the highest respect for her, but it was out of the question at the time. 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 said. “I will keep you updated on what’s coming next soon.”
Patrick Mouratoglou and Serena began working together shortly after she lost to Virginie Razzano in the first round of the 2012 French Open.
Williams then 30, had already won 13 Grand Slam singles trophies before adding 10 more since the French coach began working with the American.
Halep, who defeated Williams in the 2019 final at the All England Club, first reached the top ranking in 2017 and is now ranked 20th in the world due to injury layoffs.
Halep missed a chunk of last season because of a torn left calf.
After reaching the semifinals at Indian Wells in March, she withdrew from the Miami Open because of a left thigh problem.