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Patrick Mouratoglou admits to coaching Serena during finals

Larry Brown Sports logo Larry Brown Sports 9/8/2018 Larry Brown Sports
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Video by Sports Illustrated

Patrick Mouratoglou admitted to coaching Serena Williams during the finals of the US Open, but he says it’s no different from what any other coach does.

Mouratoglou was interviewed by ESPN’s Pam Shriver after Williams lost the US Open finals to Naomi Osaka on Saturday and pointed out the selective enforcement of the coaching violation by chair umpire Carlos Ramos.

“I’m honest, I was coaching. I don’t think [Serena] looked at me, so that’s why she didn’t think I was (coaching). But I was, like 100 percent of the coaches on 100 percent of the matches. So we have to stop this hypocrite thing. “[Osaka’s coach] was coaching every point too.”

Mouratoglou then suggested tennis needs to change some of its code rules.

“Two rules are killing tennis. Not to allow a player to express their feelings is stupid. It’s not a big deal to break a racquet,” Mouratoglou said.

He pointed out how suspicious it was that he received a coaching violation, which he says was the first in his life.

“Not once in my life. Very strange to happen in a grand slam final,” he said.

Williams was hit with a first violation for Mouratoglou coaching her with a hand signal in the second set. She berated him afterwards and insisted she did not cheat. Then she was hit with a second violation for smashing a racquet after being broken. She received a penalty point for the second violation. She then yelled at the umpire and demanded an apology for the previous violation. Williams called Ramos a “thief” for stealing a point away and was hit with a third violation, this time for verbal abuse. That was the third violation, which took a game away.

She ended up losing 6-2, 6-4 to Osaka, marking the 20-year-old’s first grand slam win.

Whether or not there was selective, potentially ill-timed enforcement of rules, Williams still had the ability to control things after receiving the first warning.

Related slideshow: Best photos of US Open (Provided by USA Today Sports)

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