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Serena Williams ‘would love to play’ US Open, says coach Mouratoglou

Serena Williams would relish the chance to play at this year’s US Open and continue her quest to equal and then surpass Margaret Court’s record Grand Slam haul, the American’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou said Monday.

Widespread reports suggest the USTA will confirm that the US Open will begin on August 31 without fans, as scheduled, despite concerns about the coronavirus safety measures from elite men’s and women’s players.

Men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic expressed reservations about being kept at a hotel between matches and the possibility of only having one other person with him at Flushing Meadows, while defending champion Rafael Nadal is not keen to travel to New York while the pandemic continues.

However, Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of six-time US Open champion Williams, believes last year’s runner-up, who needs one more Grand Slam title to equal the all-time record of 24 held by Court, is keen to play.

“Of course, she would love to play,” Mouratoglou told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

“For a player to be out of competition is extremely difficult. She’s definitely come back to tennis to win Grand Slams; that’s her goal, so the US Open would be the first opportunity to win one.

“You know this US Open will be extremely special, there will be a lot of restrictions and I have to speak with her to see if she will be able to accept and manage those expectations.”

Williams gave birth to her daughter – Alexis Olympia Ohanian – in September 2017 and Mouratoglou admitted the possibility of her having only one other person at Flushing Meadows may impact him, joking that the toddler might actually be a better coach for her mother.

“That’s exactly what my thought is – I don’t imagine her being three weeks without her daughter,” he said.

“So, she might have a new coach for the US Open… [a] bit younger! Considering our record in the last Grand Slam finals, her daughter might be more successful than me!”

Also read: ATP wants to resume in August; US Open has two scenarios
Also read: Should New York be trying to host Cincinnati and US Open this year?

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