Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams tipped to ‘go further’ than rival tennis players

Novak Djokovic celebrates Serbia's WC qualification

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Patrick Mouratoglou has explained the reason he believes Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are unlike other tennis players. The Frenchman has coached Williams for nine years, and also overseen the careers of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Djokovic is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam titles, the most for a male singles player, while Williams holds the record for most in the Open Era with 23.

Djokovic and Williams have often been regarded as two of the best tennis players of all time.

Serena Williams holds the record for most singles Grand Slam titles in the Open Era with 23, and has 39 including women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Meanwhile, the Serb managed to tie his long-time rivals Federer and Nadal this year on 20 Grand Slam titles, after he won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

He fell at the final hurdle when attempting to become the first man in 52 years to win the Calendar Grand Slam – claiming all four Majors in a single year – as he lost the US Open championship match, but was the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the first three of the season.

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While the ATP world No 1 has been the centre of the GOAT debate in men’s tennis alongside Federer and Nadal, renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou has now declared that Djokovic, along with the younger Williams sister, is “different” to other players.

The Frenchman, who has coached Williams since 2012, explained what sets the pair apart from their colleagues and competitors on the pro tour.

“Champions, they have the mindset, and the mindset builds tennis. So it’s all about the mindset. And this is true for everything,” he said, in a video posted to his Instagram profile.

“Whatever you do, if you have the right mindset, you’re gonna make it.”

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Mouratoglou, who has also been involved in the coaching teams of ATP world No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and teenage sensation Coco Gauff, also pinpointed the moment early in Djokovic’s career that he knew the Serb would be a champion.

The Frenchman continued: “The people who have the best mindset naturally, they are the ones who are going to go further.

“I remember Novak, he was 17, you don’t think, ‘Wow, this tennis is incredible’.

“No, but the mentality is unbelievable. He has the ultimate mentality of a champion, same as Serena. So they developed their tennis.”

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Djokovic and Williams will be hoping to continue to prove the 51-year-old right during the 2022 season, though both could be absent from the upcoming Australian Open.

40-year-old Williams, who won her last Major title at the event in 2017, is not on the entry list for January’s edition as she continues to recover from a leg injury she picked up at Wimbledon after slipping on the Centre Court grass.

“Following the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open. While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, nine-time Aussie Open champion Djokovic is on the entry list but could still withdraw over the tournament’s vaccine mandate.

The Serb has been against mandatory vaccinations for players at events and refuses to disclose his vaccination status, with no confirmation on whether or not he is vaccinated, something he needs in order to compete.

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