Serena Williams has sparked new retirement rumors as she splits from her long-time coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who has been given her blessing to work with rival player Simona Halep.
Williams, 40, missed the Australian Open at the start of the year after picking up a hamstring injury and has not played a match since June last year.
With increasing rumors about her possible retirement from the sport, Serena’s coach for the last ten years has now confirmed they will be going their separate ways after she ‘opened a door for him to work with Halep instead.
Mouratoglou said he was given permission to work with the Romanian star ‘at least short term’ after holding talks with the 23-time Grand Slam winner, and insists he has ‘missed coaching’ while Williams has been inactive.
‘In the last eight months I realised how much I’ve missed coaching,’ he said in a statement on Twitter. ‘It is the passion of my life and I still feel I have so much to give.
‘Simona came to the Mouratoglou Academy before Indian Wells for a training block. I swung by at a few of her practices, and watched her train.
‘At the end of the week, she asked me if I was available to coach her. I have the highest respect for her but it was out of the question at the time.
‘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.’
‘I will keep you updated on what is coming next soon.’