Serena Williams from the USA in action against the Chinese Qiang Wang REUTERS / Hannah Mckay
(Reuters) – Former world number 1, Serena Williams, has to rethink her approach to Grand Slams after her last bid to win the 24th Grand Prix at Melbourne Park stalled, coach Patrick Mouratoglou said.
The 38-year-old American, who wants to set Australian grandmother Margaret Court's record, has reached four Grand Slam finals since the birth of her daughter Olympia in 2017, but has not won any of them.
She arrived at this year's Australian Open after winning the Auckland Classic title, but was beaten in the third round by Chinese Wang Qiang.
"We have to accept that it doesn't work," Mouratoglou told the BBC.
"We have to face reality, but she's sure she can do it, otherwise she probably wouldn't be on a tennis court anymore. She thinks she can and I believe it too. She's not ready but we have to change a few things.
“Maybe she'll come back with a different perspective, strategy, and goals so she can do it. She feels positive, she also feels negative because it is a failure if she doesn't win a Grand Slam. "
Mouratoglou said time was not on Williams' side in pursuing the record.
"She had everything to retire, 23 Grand Slam titles … it is difficult to know how many chances she will have, I don’t know how long she can play, but she can have four Grand Slam Reaching endgames says a lot about their level.
"Her level is good enough, but we have to understand what's going on and why she can't win. There is a big difference between reaching a final and winning a final."
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Edited by Peter Rutherford