Serena Williams' telling move for Wimbledon after split with coach

Patrick Mouratoglou and Serena Williams, pictured here at the Australian Open in 2020.
Patrick Mouratoglou and Serena Williams at the Australian Open in 2020. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Serena Williams has enlisted the help of sister Venus' coach Eric Hechtman for her return to tennis at Eastbourne and Wimbledon.

Serena shocked the tennis world on Wednesday when she revealed she's accepted a wildcard to play Wimbledon, ending her 12-month absence from the tour.

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The 40-year-old will team up with Ons Jabeur to play doubles at Eastbourne next week in the lead-up to Wimbledon.

Serena hasn't played since she retired hurt in the first round at the All England Club last year after slipping on the wet grass and injuring her leg.

Eric Hechtman, pictured here watching Coco Gauff at the French Open in 2021.
Eric Hechtman (second from right) watches Coco Gauff at the French Open in 2021. Image: Getty (Getty Images)

In that time she has also parted ways with long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou, with the Frenchman teaming up with Romanian star Simona Halep.

It has since emerged that Serena will use Hechtman - her sister's coach - at Eastbourne and Wimbledon.

Hechtman shared Serena's announcement on his Instagram page on Tuesday, writing: "LFG! So pumped for this trip with the GOAT."

Hechtman has been Venus' coach since 2019, but the elder Williams sister also hasn't played since before Wimbledon last year.

The American has previously worked with the likes of Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer as a hitting partner and was also the Director of the Royal Palm Tennis Club in Florida.

Serena Williams' split with Patrick Mouratoglou

Mouratoglou had worked with Serena since 2012, helping her win 10 of her 23 grand slam titles and an Olympic gold medal.

Speaking earlier this week, the renowned coach revealed how he gave Serena an ultimatum before the French Open because he couldn't wait for her any longer.

"I wanted to be fair to her and not be disappointed at the end of my career," he said at a sports festival in Romania.

"I went to ask her what she was going to do. It was very clear to her.

"I asked her if she wanted to go to Roland Garros. She told me she didn't know.

"It was six weeks before the tour. I told her I was waiting for her on Monday for training and if she didn't come I would consider myself free."

Simona Halep, pictured here talking to coach Patrick Mouratoglou during practice at Roland Garros.
Simona Halep talks to coach Patrick Mouratoglou during practice at Roland Garros. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images) (Robert Prange via Getty Images)

Evidently, Serena didn't show up for training and Mouratoglou decided to team up with Halep.

Mouratoglou previously revealed how Halep asked if he was available to coach her while training at his academy in southern France in March.

The Frenchman said it was "out of question at the time" given his commitment to Williams.

"A few weeks later, I had a conversation with Serena, and the door opened for me, at least short term, to work with someone else," he explained.

"I missed it big time. Coaching is the passion of my life. It’s the job of my life.

"And when I went to see Serena to discuss before starting with Simona, that’s what I told her.

"I said, ‘coaching is the passion of my life and it’s difficult for me not to work.’ So yes, I missed coaching big, big time.

"Honestly, since I’m back to coaching with Simona, I cannot be happier. It’s an incredible satisfaction for me to do that job. It’s incredible."

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