August 11, 2022


By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Patrick Mouratoglou praises the ATP for taking a break from training charades.

Mouratoglou, who coaches Simona Halep after years of coaching Serena Williams, applauds the ATP’s decision to allow ‘off-court’ training on a trial basis, saying it means ‘no more hypocrisy’ for the sport.

After: ATP in trial training from next month

The The ATP has announced that it will allow coaching from designated seats in the stands from the week of July 11, 2022 in a trial that will span the second half of the season.

The trial includes the US Open and will continue until the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in Turin in November.

“Congratulations to the ATP for ‘legalizing’ a practice that has continued at almost every match for decades,” Mouratoglou posted on Twitter. “No more hypocrisy.”

Mouratoglou was at the center of a coaching controversy in the 2018 US Open final in Serena Williams’ straight-set loss to Naomi Osaka.

20th-seeded Serena was handed a match penalty for verbally abusing chair umpire Carlos Ramos after the veteran umpire hit her with two warnings, one for coaching and the other for breaking his racket.

Mouratoglou, who was captured by courtside cameras making a “come forward” gesture with both hands, told ESPN Pam Shriver he tried to coach Williams, but said it was standard procedure for coaches at major finals. Mouratoglou cited Toni Nadal for consistently coaching from the stands for years.

“I’m honest. I was a coach,” Mouratoglou told his ESPN colleague. “I don’t think she looked at me, but like 100% of the coaches in 100% of the games [coach].

“I was training, Sascha [Bajin] also trained. Toni Nadal trains every point and he never gave away a single point [penalty].”

Coach Mouratoglou’s admission prompted social media condemnation from Hall of Fame and tennis TV analyst Todd Woodbridge, who called it “disappointing” that such a high-profile coach would admit to breaching chronically a rule of thumb.

Critics say legalizing coaching makes the game stupid, destroys tennis tradition and gives an unfair advantage to stars who make more money and can afford to pay entire coaching teams while younger players sometimes just can’t afford to pay for a coach to travel. the world.


Proponents say that since coaching from the stands has been happening in professional tennis for years, it is a common-sense change to legalize it.

Tennis Now asked Toni Nadal for his views on legalizing coaching during a clinic he held at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center in Mexico before the pandemic. Toni Nadal said he supports training from the stands but opposes training on the pitch.

Rafa Nadal’s uncle and original coach has admitted he coached the clay king frequently from the support box but described the training as ‘normal’. Toni Nadal said that since you can hear a stadium full of fans commenting during a match, why can’t a coach speak too?

“For me, I wouldn’t like to go on court,” Toni Nadal told Tennis Now after a morning training session in Costa Mujeres, Mexico. “But I liked to talk when I was a coach. Because when you’re in the stadium of the whole crowd, the only one who can’t talk is the coach, it’s unbelievable.

“I think for me it was normal [to coach from the box]. In tennis, we don’t talk because what can we say? It’s not like football. There’s not too much you can talk about [during a game].”


Stressing that coaching from the box doesn’t disrupt the flow of a game while potentially inspiring players and engaging fans, Toni Nadal suggests coaching from the box already happens so often ‘it’s normal’ to legalize it.

“For me, it’s normal that you can talk a bit,” Toni Nadal told Tennis Now. “To say something positive, encouraging, that’s part of the competition.

“Sometimes tactical, but not too much. For me, life has changed so you have to change something [in tennis]. So yes, I would support the coaches so they can talk from the box, not on the pitch.

Photo credit: Instagram of Simona Halep