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‘Serena Williams wasn’t ready, she shouldn’t play Parma,’ says Patrick Mouratoglou

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Playing only two tournaments in the opening four months of the new season, the 23-time Major champion Serena Williams returned to action in Rome and Parma. Competing on clay for the first time since the last year’s Roland Garros, Serena experienced two short campaigns in Italy, hoping for a better run at the upcoming Roland Garros.

Nadia Podorska ousted Serena in the opening match in Rome in two tight sets, while the American lost to Katerina Siniakova in the second round in Parma. Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou said that Serena probably wasn’t ready for Parma after an early exit in Rome, still needing a lot of work on the practice court to play competitive tennis at Roland Garros.

Williams is still seeking that elusive 24th Major crown and the first in over four years, with her first chances coming in Paris and London in the next two months. “I think Serena lost because she wasn’t ready. I don’t know, but maybe it wasn’t a good idea to go and play in Parma because her match in Rome showed many things that still needed to be worked on to compete at the highest level.

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I think it’s always interesting to play matches because it gives you a clear vision of where you are, so that was good in that way because we know what she still needs to accomplish to be ready for Roland Garros. I’m not worried in general because if she does the job, she will be ready.

It’s just about doing the job. We have to go on the court, work, and day after day, I will see. To be completely honest with you, when I saw her before the Australian Open for preparation, I thought ‘wow’ – a lot of work to get ready.

Patrick Mouratoglou shared thoughts about Serena Williams’ recent results.
But in a short period, Serena was able to hit great form. She played well, but unfortunately not through the whole tournament – only until the semi-finals.

She played great tennis and moved well, and it didn’t taker her too much time to get ready. I’m never scared of the others, and I’m not going to start now. I respect many other players who are definitely good, and there is a lot of depth in the women’s game.

I’ve always said regarding Serena that it’s all about her, and it’s still all about her. The question is, is she able or not to start a Major being in her top form and able to win? She was 100% ready in Australia, really prepared to win, but it didn’t happen.

We’ll see how she is in the next couple of tournaments. When she gets to the latter stages, the semi-finals and the final, how does she handle the situation, and can she play her best tennis? The last year she hasn’t been able to play her best in the latter stages.

First of all, when people tell her ‘she can’t,’ it gives her extra motivation, so please tell Francesca Schiavone to say it louder so I can make sure Serena can hear it! Secondly, she’s been able to do things in her career that were in theory not possible because she has this belief that she can achieve anything, and that’s such great strength,” Patrick Mouratoglou said.

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‘I’m done with losing’: Anthony Joshua opens up on his pain after Oleksandr Usyk defeat

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Anthony Joshua has opened up on his shock loss to Oleksandr Usyk last month that saw him relinquish his heavyweight titles, saying he is “done with f…..g losing” and will exact swift revenge in their rematch next year.

In a wide-ranging interview with iFL TV, the former heavyweight champion also discussed his trainer situation as he looks to win back his IBF, WBA and WBO belts from the Ukrainian at the first time of asking.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) was thoroughly outboxed by Usyk as the unbeaten Ukrainian (19-0, 13 KOs) earned a unanimous points victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London to end Joshua’s brief second reign.

Joshua had suffered his first career defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019 before winning back his titles in an immediate sequel in Saudi Arabia six months later.

The 32-year-old is confident that he will do the same against Usyk after getting his tactics wrong in their first encounter and hit back at critics who suggested he was too happy to lose.

“Because you don’t hear from me, I may not be effing and blinding on Insta stories and stuff like that, it doesn’t mean that I stomach losses,” Joshua said.

“I was on the next plane to the States, spoke to all my team. We’ve had some awkward conversations in the camp … It hurts bro. It hurts. Especially when you’ve got a winner’s mentality.

“I know from experience and track record, my mindset and my evaluation of losses and how I use them, it can catapult me to the next level.”

When asked why tried to outbox a technical fighter like Usyk rather than using his size and strength advantages to bully the much smaller man, Joshua initially sought to justify his baffling strategy, saying he was trying to conserve energy.

“When I looked at the other fight [Tyson Fury’s KO of Deontay Wilder in their trilogy fight] a couple of weeks later you saw that after two rounds, three rounds, the energy was depleted, Joshua told iFL TV.

“It’s not what I thought was the right way of boxing. So I started working on different elements of my boxing – trying to learn how to slip shots, roll shots a bit better, etcetera.

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“MY LIFE IS ON THE LINE” – ANTHONY JOSHUA EXPLAINS SEARCH FOR NEW TRAINER

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The deposed champion is preparing for his Oleksandr Usyk rematch

Anthony Joshua has denied splitting with trainer Rob McCracken but says he is looking for additional input ahead of his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua lost to the Ukrainian former cruiserweight in September but immediately exercised his rematch clause which should see the pair face one another for a second time in 2022.

The 31-year-old Briton was well beaten by Usyk in a technical match-up with many believing the former champion was wrong not to use his size and strength advantage.

Since the defeat Joshua has toured gyms in Texas and California, and he told IFL TV what his plans were.

Speaking of retaining McCracken, he said: “Yeah, and he has to speak to the people I may want to work with and see if he can work with them.

“I had the same conversation with Rob, ‘I want to work with you, but I also want to work with this guy for six months’.

“Rob might tell me, ‘You know what champ, this ain’t working for me. For the next six months, you do your thing and come and see me after.’

“It’s mature conversations. My life, my health is on the line.”

Joshua explained who he had seen on his visit.

“I need to go and get some new teachings from guys that have trained – Robert Garcia trained 13, 14 world champions,” he said.

“They’ve got so many generations of teachings.

“Virgil Hunter trained Andre Ward, a phenomenal fighter.

“I wanted to go around and be in an environment of fighters.

“Eddy Reynoso, ‘No boxing, no life.’ I love that saying. Canelo is obviously a phenomenal fighter.

“I watched him spar 12 rounds, asked certain questions.

“Ronnie Shields, another African American coach who has worked with the greats.”

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Tearful Serena Williams aids fight against cancer with heartbreaking call to action

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In tears, Serena Williams shared a heartbreaking video call-to-action to support her friend Esther Lee, a DPT who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago, in promoting a challenge event meant to raise funds for battling cancer everywhere.

In the video, Serena Williams can be seen failing to keep her tears under control since the message involves a dear friend of hers. “I don’t think I can do this. This is going to be too hard for me,” Williams says in the video as her voice drowns in tears.

“My dear friend Esther has been a huge part of my own health journey and now she needs our help as she battles pancreatic cancer. Join me in helping patients like Esther by registering for the LA Cancer Challenge 5K Walk/Run on October 31.

With both in-person and virtual events, everyone can participate,” Serena Williams captioned the video.

How to help Serena and Esther in the battle against cancer
If you want to help researchers find a cure for cancer or aid people in battling the disease, you can register for the LA Cancer Challenge event, which “helps the Hirshberg Foundation raise money to fund research and programs designed to improve patient care, offer better treatment options and, ultimately find a cure for pancreatic cancer,” according to Serena Williams.

The tennis icon also said that you can “join me, in-person or virtually, for a day of costumes and fun, remembering those we have lost and celebrating those who are currently battling this disease. Together, regardless of where we are, we can make a huge difference in the battle against pancreatic cancer”.

On Williams’s official donation page on pancreatic.org, you have the option to donate or join Serena’s or Esther’s teams. At the moment, there are over $5000 raised. The goal is around $15000.

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