With Mouratoglou, she selected a racket with a bigger head and adjusted strings so as to add more spin and develop more margin for error and a simpler Plan B.In addition they emphasized competing more often week to week to make her sharper on the majors.
Her results and confidence soared. With Mouratoglou, she went on to win 10 more Grand Slam singles titles, all in her 30s. That had no precedent in women’s tennis, and it’s one in every of the strongest arguments for bestowing GOAT status on Williams. She and her older sister Venus modified the sport and raised the bar for the opposition, lots of whom couldn’t sustain, fading or retiring while the Williamses continued.
Serena Williams was not consistently dominant: She had more dips in form and barren patches than Navratilova, Graf and Evert, and even dropped out of the highest 100 in 2006. Arguably, she also lacked a transcendent rivalry, dominating Venus, 7-2, in major finals and playing her in just one final at any level after 2009. Though that they had some memorable duels, the rivalry between the sisters was, particularly early on, sometimes as uncomfortable for the viewers as for the siblings.
“Martina had Chrissie; Steffi had Martina and Monica Seles; Court had Billie Jean and Maria Bueno,” said Steve Flink, an American tennis historian and writer.
“During Serena’s great years in her 30s, she had no formidable rival to check her to the hilt; that will not be her fault but an element,” Flink added, of the GOAT debate. But Williams, despite her dips, did rule over the most effective talent available, compiling a 176-72 record against players who’ve been ranked No. 1. She went 20-2 against her tennis muse Maria Sharapova, a blond Russian who out-earned her in sponsorships for years, which Williams understandably viewed as an injustice in light of her superior résumé.
Williams would agree that she knew channel a grudge.
In her essay in Vogue this month announcing her imminent retirement, she wrote: “There have been so many matches I won because something made me indignant or someone counted me out. That drove me.”