I'd do it again tomorrow, Serena coach says of illicit coaching

New York (AFP) –


Patrick Mouratoglou, the coach at the center of Serena Williams' infamous US Open final meltdown last year, said he "would do it again tomorrow" in reference to his hand signals that sparked the controversy.

Williams was warned for coaching during her loss in the final to Japan's Naomi Osaka when Mouratoglou was spotted making signals from the players box.

Williams then carried out a running verbal battle with umpire Carlos Ramos, who eventually penalized her a game.

The American described Ramos as a "liar and a thief" before crashing to defeat at a shell-shocked Flushing Meadows.

"Do I regret? No, I felt like she was lost at that moment and I tried to help her doing something that everybody does," Mouratoglou said Sunday.

"I would do the same tomorrow. Really. 100 percent. And if I'm penalized again, I think it's unfair the same way. If I'm penalized, then everyone should be penalized every day. And nobody is. Nobody."

Mouratoglou insists that all players are coached from the sidelines and it is hypocrisy to deny it exists.

At the moment, on-court coaching is only allowed in WTA events but not on the men's ATP Tour or at the four Grand Slams.

"Do I regret? Not at all. Not at all. For me, I didn't do anything bad. I just did what all the coaches do," he said.

"As I said, and I say it again, I usually never do it. So that was extremely unfair, because he penalized somebody -- he knows I'm not doing it. I did it once.

"Nobody gives a warning for the first time. They just tell you, Be careful. Actually tell you to be careful usually after four or five times. Anyway, so I think it was completely unfair."

The Frenchman cited the inconsistency with which certain rules are applied, noting that warnings for racquet abuse were administered with regularity -- unlike the case with on-court coaching.

"When you smash the racquet, you always have a warning. This is really the rule and the use. So this is something nobody complains about because we know that," he said.

"I think it's the most stupid rule. I don't think we should get penalized for that. That's how it is. This is fine.

"But when you never, and nobody is penalized or almost never (for coaching), I don't think it's fair. So do I regret? No. Would I do it again tomorrow if it's necessary? Yes."