- Language Tips
Patrick Mouratoglou (R) instructs a junior player at his academy. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Coach of the best female player in the world opens his arms to Chinese youngsters, who dream to join the world's elites one day.
Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of female world No 1 Serena Williams and founder of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Paris, said he would love to lend a hand to China's tennis boom, which was triggered by Li Na's groundbreaking victory at 2011 French Open.
"Sure, I am more than open to do it (to help cultivate young Chinese players)," said the Frenchman, who guided several players including Marcos Baghdatis and Anastasia Pavlynchenkova to junior world champions.
Mouratoglou said he was impressed by China's prowess in sports in general but the approach of tennis training here still lags behind the world due to the lack of tradition.
"There is a number of potential for tennis in China. But the experience of tennis here is small because it's new. In some sports, you are best because you've worked in there for years. But tennis is different, to have good shots is one thing but to use the shots in the game and understand the game (is another). I see a lot of things are lacking now, that just a matter of time. It will help to get European coaches to help you."
Mouratoglou, who shared his experience in a six-hour speech at a coach conference at Beijing Sport University before the China Open, said Chinese coaches need more international exposure than the players.
"I see there are a lot of people in China who are open to have my experience and definitely want to do it. If coaches know how to see who has the potential and give them what they need, I can see China in the top of tennis as well."
The long-hour workout, which was highlighted in the tough training regime in China's sports scene, doesn't help at all if on a wrong direction, Mouratoglou stressed.
"The first thing is clever practice, which means understand what you have to improve to get to the next level and then it's quality, intense and the last is quantity. It doesn't help to have quantity without quality. If you repeat them for long, it will get worse. If you looked at the practice of people, there are so many bad habits. It will get automatic, and you won't be able to change it."
To further help the game's development in China, the Frenchman has been discussing with Chinese Tennis Association and related authorities for future cooperation.
"We will find a way for Chinese potential juniors to practice in my academy or open a branch of my academy in China. we are still in the process to see which is the best solution."