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Mouratoglou: Serena to Decide Future After US Open

By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday September 1, 2021

Coach Patrick Mouratoglou isn't sure when or if Serena Williams will play again.

And Serena herself is undecided about her competitive future.

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In a US Open interview with ESPN's Chris McKendry, Mouratoglou said "nothing is decided" and he expects the 23-time Grand Slam champion to make a decision on her competitive future sometime after the US Open.

"[Serena is going through] stages where she needs to digest the fact she didn’t play here," Mouratoglou told ESPN. "And then it’s gonna be time to think about the future and what she wants to do.

"Nothing is decided. Everything is open. I don’t know if she’s done or if she wants to do one more year or two more years or whatever. I have no idea. So we’re gonna probably after the tournament sit down and talk about it."

The 39-year-old Williams was forced out of Flushing Meadows as she continues recovery from a torn hamstring she suffered in her Wimbledon opener. 

"After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring," Williams said in a statement on Instagram.

The former world No. 1 has been chasing her 24th Grand Slam title to match Margaret Court's all-time mark and bidding for a seventh US Open title to take sole possession of the Open Era record she shares with Chrissie Evert. 

"It is heartbreaking, but this is the only possible decision," Mouratoglou said.

Though fans were encouraged Williams closed her social media post with "I will see you soon," Mouratoglou said the superstar who won her maiden major at the 1999 US Open is undecided at this point.

The painful Wimbledon exit was the first time in 20 SW19 appearances Serena failed to survive the opening round and just the second time she retired from a Grand Slam match. Williams has not played a match since skipping the entire US Open Series, so her US Open withdrawal was not a surprise. 

The 22nd-ranked Williams has reached the Flushing Meadows final in two of the last three years falling to Naomi Osaka in a controversial 2018 final that saw the former No. 1 rage at chair umpire Carlos Ramos over a coaching violation call and bowing to Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 7-5 in the 2019 final.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve