Serena Williams fell just short of a calendar grand slam when she lost in a stunning upset in the U.S. Open Finals in September.
Williams hasn’t played tennis since, as she apparently needed time to rest her body and recover emotionally.
According to Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena was “depressed” after her loss and needed several weeks to recover, in which Mouratoglou didn’t talk to her.
“She was depressed,” Mouratoglu told reporters from the Paris Open. “The reaction was quite strong. She was really, really affected, which I think is normal when you are Serena. She does everything with 100 per cent of her heart so you are more disappointed when you don’t reach your goal. Plus, she has a level of expectation that is much higher than anyone.”
He continued, saying it was good for her to get away from tennis for a little while:
“She doesn’t want to talk when she’s depressed. But it’s better. Because I represent tennis, and when you are [recovering] after something like this, you have to see people who don’t represent tennis. You have to change your mind. Otherwise you keep on thinking about it. I didn’t force it. I know her and I understand also that she needs a break. It’s fine.
“I think it’s good if she just pushes herself and she sees people and she goes out a little bit. It helps you also to think about something else. You have to erase that from your memory.”
While Serena evidently paid an emotional toll for the loss, her knee issues were also a big factor in keeping her away from tennis for two months.
As Mouratoglu noted, she’s dealing with the same knee issues that have slowed Rafael Nadal’s knees. Williams cartilage has worn away to the point where the bones are rubbing against each other.
“She has bone bruises, and if you keep on playing with this for too long, too much, the next step is a stress fracture. … The injury can get really worse, and at her age her career could really be in danger if she went too far and got more injured, like Rafa did in the past. He kept on playing with the same problem and then it got worse and he had to stop for almost a year, we don’t want this to happen.”
Hopefully, Williams has recovered physically and emotionally and can return to the game in top form.
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