'Step towards modernity': Top coach backs controversial rule change

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou has backed the new rule change that will allow in-match coaching on the WTA.

As of February, players and coaches will be able to communicate as part of a trial period during 2020.

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The new rule will kick start at the Dubai Duty Free Championship and Hungarian Open in February, but won’t include the Grand Slams.

Williams was famously penalised during the heated Australian Open final against Naomi Osaka when the chair umpire deemed Mouratoglou was coaching her on court.

Serena Williams of United States (R) speaks with coach Patrick Mouratoglou during practice ahead of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

While Mouratoglou is aware on-court coaching happens quite often, he agrees the rule should change permanently.

"I am a big advocate for on-court coaching as I believe it is great for the show and will help people behind their TV or computer understand our sport and know players' personalities better,” he wrote on Twitter.

"I love and respect the tennis tradition, but I also want tennis to enter into the era of modernity like most of the other top sports have. Tennis is one of the only sports not to encourage coaching. It is time for modernity."

The new rule will allow coaches to communicate with their players as many currently do.