Mouratoglou confirms light Serena schedule

By Alex Fisher 30 January 2017 190
Mouratoglou confirms light Serena schedule

Serena Williams' schedule will be lighter than in previous years to ensure she is in prime condition for the rest of 2017's grand slams, says her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Williams become the most successful player of the open era with her triumph at the Australian Open on Saturday, her win over sister Venus giving her a 23rd grand slam singles title to eclipse Steffi Graf's record.

The 35-year-old returned to world number one following her success at Melbourne Park but she may only feature in one tournament before the next major at Roland Garros.

That appearance could come at Indian Wells in early March and although she runs the risk of being unprepared for the French Open, Mouratoglou believes it will give her the best chance of challenging for titles.

"Mentally she has to stay fresh and mentally excited when the grand slams start, because they are the goal," he told reporters.

"So we have a lighter schedule - not lighter than last year, which would be difficult, but lighter than the year before.

"We've already done the schedule for the whole year. It doesn't mean that the schedule is not going to change, it's meant to adapt to situations. 

"But generally speaking it's already set for the whole season."

Should Williams add to her major titles she would equal and then potentially eclipse Margaret Court's haul of 24, which straddled the divide between amateur and professional players contesting the majors.

Mouratoglou added: "With all the respect for Margaret Court, it was another era, the draws were like 16 players and they were not professionals. 

"Of course the record is here and we definitely want to beat it, but there was a professional era and the record was Steffi Graf."

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Alex Fisher