The controversial coach of Serena Williams has dealt a low blow to tennis elites Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal, hinting that the game as they play it is “boring.”
Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou, once rumoured to be the paramour of one-time Williams, inferred that old-school dominators like 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer and rival Rafael Nadal, winner of 11 Roland Garros titles, are not doing the game any favours.
He inferred that their cloak of respectability is now out of fashion, with more radical rules the way of the tennis future.
But he added to London’s Metro tabloid : “If you criticise Federer or Nadal… it’s impossible to say something.
“It’s difficult to criticise them, they’re perfect. Nobody is perfect.”
“I’m just saying it’s exciting to have a real world to witness and take part of as a fan be excited by some players, dislike others and feel emotions when you’re watching a show.”
According to Mouratoglou – whose coaching from the stands in last year’s US open final sparked the Serena meltdown which destroyed the atmosphere of the event – bad boys like Nick Kyrgios are the way forward for the game.
“We (current tennis) are flat. And we could be incredibly exciting. Kyrgios is the only guy who makes it not flat, this is why everyone is after him.”
The supremo who runs his own tennis academy hinted that the polite and sportsmanlike old guard just don’t cut it with modern young audiences.
For Mouratoglou, crisis time means prime time.
“You will have people who like or dislike players and then be excited by the show,” he said. “If we don’t know who is who because everyone is behaving the same then it’s boring.”
While he’s at it, Mouratoglou also wants to do away with electronic line-calling, preferring classic meltdown scenarios as perfected by John McEnroe back in the day and carried on by his client Williams.
“I think Hawk-Eye is a mistake, too. It shouldn’t be ok. Again, no controversy,” he said.
“Before, McEnroe was crazy. It was great. We had fun. Now, ‘oh the ball is out, okay’. Flat.
“Technology is great, it’s fantastic. But come on, we don’t want everything to be flat.
“We want to argue because the ball was in and we’re so disappointed because my player – I mean as a fan – lost because of this awful chair umpire and then you have something to talk about with your friends and then there is controversy. People watch.”