9 Tennis Tips (and Beyond) by Serena Williams Coach Patrick Mouratoglou

Tennis is the new yoga! As Roland Garros celebrates, we challenge ourselves like a champion. Exchanges with Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach.

A huge playground, Patrick Mouratoglou’s Academy *, nestled in the heart of Sophia Antipolis, is always full. Emerging champions, snowshoe stars and novice beginners are all there, all driven by the same desire: to reach the net. A keen eye and dazzling ideas, this atypical coach certainly wants to do more than one service … His approach? Transmitting the culture of tennis, emancipating it from dogmas so that all bodies gain freedom and the spirit in vital drive. He catches the ball on the rebound.

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1.Think holistic

“Like yoga, tennis helps fight stress. Its introspective force, which never falls into egomania, is remarkable. Playing allows you to refocus, sharpen your intuitions, forget your worries. Pay attention to your body , her breathing, the texture of the ground, the feel of the ball … Players often tell me that by focusing on the latter, they see her much bigger than she is!

2.Connect body and brain

“With the magnificent gestures, tennis puts our body into language. You can fully express yourself thanks to the agility forces it calls for: balance, optimal coordination, momentum, braking, changes of direction. All this dynamic is beneficial, because it stimulates the brain at random. Start with the stairs, as in music. Practice right, reverse and then service. The goal is to make perfect exchanges to stimulate immunity and the mind.

Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams and founder of the Mouratoglou Academy. PHOTO SP

3. Observing to better understand

“A match is a conversation between them, a healthy competition. As a very shy child, I learned by watching others, which is the key to a better understanding of the world. Few people know how to put themselves in the place of others. In tennis, you can study a different body than yours. As in a game of chess, we learn beyond tactics, to read the body language : a great asset in professional life “.

4. For fun

“We can do sports out of obligation, to stay. Tennis, in contrast to this Spartan view, is incredibly playful. If you finish a game, you want to go back because you had fun. This feeling of joy anchored in the imagination of any child is essential.

5.Celebrate your femininity

“Between the racket and the women, it’s a love story. Suzanne Lenglen, in her 20’s, was a pioneer! As a champion, she participated in the emancipation of the sexes, as did Billie Jean King in the 70’s or Serena Williams today. In addition, it is the number 1 women’s sport in the world, where professional players make a better living.

6.Develop your strengths

“By a negative logic, many coaches and many players focus mainly on eradicating their weaknesses. Without a doubt, it is important to know how to recognize them. But as a counterpoint, the technicality of tennis must serve to enhance its qualities. As in life, it is better to have immense qualities and immense faults than to be average everywhere. When you value your strengths, you are sure to be happier.


“Tennis is successful where society sometimes fails: it unites, it creates bonds. The clubs, real places of life, promote exchanges between fans. To put your children to tennis is to help them live with others, to teach them how to recover in school or in professional life.

8.Sculpt your figure

“It adapts to all morphologies, works on postural coherence without overdeveloping the arms, its ultracardium side tends to refine the whole body. Your big asset? Make well-formed buttocks. And for good reason: when you play, your knees bend your buttocks a little backwards, you squat. In fact, hundreds per game. Be careful to breathe well, many play apnea. To avoid oxygen debt, blow hard with each stroke. You can shout too! Like Monica Seles, the first to do it in a course. Plus, it’s fun. “

9.Release your emotions

“I’m campaigning for a less sanitized tennis than today, a lively tennis like in the nineties! In the course, you don’t have to be perfect. This is the time to express yourself, to cry, to shout or to let the your joy is also working on the expressive capacity of your body.

* mouratoglou.com

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