Coach Patrick Mouratoglou says he has always had a great level of respect for Simona Halep as he still remembers well all the tough battles the Romanian has had against Serena Williams. On Thursday, Mouratoglou announced he’s the new full-time coach of Halep.
23-time Grand Slam champion Williams hasn’t played since Wimbledon and Mouratoglou had a conversation with the former world No. 1 before accepting Halep’s job offer. Halep is no stranger to Mouratoglou as many times he had prepare tactics for Williams when she played the Romanian.
Williams owns a 10-2 head-to-head record against Halep but several of those wins came in three sets.
Mouratoglou on the Halep – Williams matchup
“I’ve always respected Simona as a player, when she was playing against Serena, because I think she’s an incredible competitor.
She quite often gave very difficult matches to Serena. I mean, Serena beat her most of the time, except one very important match, which was the final of Wimbledon in 2019, where she played incredible tennis. But I respected her game and her intensity,” Mouratoglou told Tennis Majors.
“And I knew every time Serena was playing her, that when Serena would drop her concentration a little bit, that’s when Simona would be on top of her straight away. So I respected the player a lot. I didn’t know her.
I barely spoke to her ever. “I felt she was a very emotional person, which I say in a positive way. I think I think it’s a great thing to have to have emotions and to accept our emotions because we are humans. And I felt she was smart and I’ve had the confirmation; she is smart, and quite deep in her thoughts. And so it’s always very interesting to discuss with her, I really take a lot of pleasure talking to her.”