Serena Williams’ tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou has copped a barrage of criticism from a former protege who accused him of being a better businessman than mentor.
Former world no.15 Aravane Rezai worked with Mourtoglou for a time starting in 2009, but quickly found him to be overly demanding, to the point where she felt like she was ‘in prison’.
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While the Greek-French coach’s methods have led to a highly successful and lucrative partnership with Williams, as well as fellow tour standout Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rezai said her initially promising relationship with Mourtoglou soon fractured.
“He is a man passionate about tennis, you can see that he cares,” Rezai told Spanish tennis blog Punto de Break.
“I would not say that he is a great coach, but he is a great businessman: he knows how to play, how to analyse things from a tactical point of view.
“I was put under enormous pressure to win.
“I couldn’t unwind, I couldn’t take the phone, the credit card, anything. It was like being in prison.
“I would get up at six in the morning to run an hour or two, do the physical training before my training, it was too much.
“That is why our relationship lasted just over a year. The people around me told him that I couldn’t take it anymore, but he replied that he didn’t care.
“He didn’t care about my mental health.”
Rafa Nadal shuts down Nick Kyrgios after public call out
Rafael Nadal says Nick Kyrgios should focus on a more age-appropriate rival after knocking back an invitation from the Aussie on social media.
The relationship between Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal has been rocky in the past, to say the least.
Bad blood between the pair has been palpable ever since their memorable clash at the Mexico Open in 2019 when Nadal accused the Aussie of being disrespectful on court.
It kicked off a war of words between the pair that's resulted in one of the fiercest rivalries in men's tennis.
Kyrgios appeared to extend an olive branch to Nadal last week though, when he suggested the pair take part in a social media initiative.
The BBC was asking for suggestions as to the most sought-after Facetimes - prompting a quick response from Kyrgios.
"Rafa lets do Instagram live together. I am down with it. Rafael Nadal let's do it," the Aussie wrote on Instagram.
Not surprisingly, Kyrgios' shock invitation left the tennis world salivating at the prospect, with fans urging Nadal to take up the offer.
Unfortunately, the 33-year-old Spaniard doesn't appear interested at all after suggesting the 25-year-old Aussie would be better engaging with a player closer to his own age.
"I don’t mind doing a live with Nick but there’s a generational gap and he might have more fun with someone closer to his age and style."