“People Want People to Be Perfect”: Patrick Mouratoglou Reflects on Serena Williams’ US Open 2018 Outburst

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The 2018 US Open finals had it all. Tennis fans got a new champion and a lot of drama. Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams in straight sets. But what headlined the final was the huge argument between Serena Williams and the chair umpire Carlos Ramos.

Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou spoke about the 2018 US Open final in the Netflix documentary series, ‘The Playbook‘. Mouratoglou explained what people expect from champions. Making mistakes is not a luxury available to those who are the best. This is probably why people have reacted a great deal to Serena’s argument with the umpire.

“In tennis people want people to be perfect and especially for the champions because the champions have no right to make a mistake. They are immediately pointed out, judged. It’s painful. But sometimes you have to accept to go through really painful moments because you know there is no other choice,” Mouratoglou said.

The seasoned coach further explained the role of failure and frustration in an athlete’s life. He has a positive outlook on mistakes and said, “Failure and frustration are two of the best thing that can happen to you if you handle them the right way. And then you are gonna learn. We learn by making mistakes. Of course, it’s very difficult, but that’s not what defines you.”

Serena Williams’ US Open 2018 finals outburst

To rewind things at the 2018 US Open final, Serena was given a code violation after Ramos judged a small gesture from Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou to be a sign of coaching. Coaching is banned at the Grand Slams, and so she was penalized. Later she was again penalized for breaking her racket, for which the umpire docked her a point. Serena lost her cool and started ranting against Ramos and calling him a liar. She even demanded an apology from him. This didn’t go well with him, and so he docked a whole game at a crucial juncture in the match.

Later, Mouratoglou did admit to coaching Serena from her box. He said, “I am honest I was coaching I don’t think she looked at me that’s why she didn’t think I was. She is in a match she shouldn’t have to think about that and she should be able to express her emotions. She is human.”

The final had become a toxic affair with the fans continuously booing Naomi Osaka. Back then, Osaka was a 20-year-old and had just pulled off her biggest victory. In the trophy ceremony, Serena even asked the crowd to stop booing at Osaka and gave due credit to the Japanese player for the win. Like Mouratoglou said, mistakes don’t define a person and Serena shouldn’t be remembered for letting her emotions get the better of her in that final. She is still a champion and one of the greatest to ever play the sport.

Read More: Remembering ‘Original 9’ as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Others Pay Tribute to the Trailblazers

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