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Serena Williams’ Ex-Coach Trolled for Snubbing Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic for 3-Time Grand Slam Champion as Best Returner

Tanmay Roy

Serena Williams Ex Coach Snubs Novak Djokovic and Andre Agassi

Patrick Mouratoglou often takes to Instagram to share his take on various things from the tennis world. Recently, the ex-coach of Serena Williams took a Q&A of sorts, where he mentioned the name of each tennis player who excelled at a particular shot. Interestingly, he mentioned 3-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray as the best returner he has seen, even ahead of the likes of Novak Djokovic and Andre Agassi.

A female influencer threw questions at Mouratoglou and he answered all of them promptly. Some of those answers were shocking. While he did not name Djokovic as the best returner, the Frenchman feels that the World No.1’s backhand overall is much better than his return shot.

Reporter: “Best Serve?”

Mouratoglou: “Nick Kyrgios”

Reporter: “Best Return?”

Mouratoglou: “Andy Murray”

Reporter: “Best Forehand?”

Mouratoglou: “Stefanos Tsitsipas”

Reporter: “Best Backhand?”

Mouratoglou: Novak Djokovic

Reporter: “Footwork?”

Mouratoglou: “Daniil Medvedev”

Reporter: “Most Talented?”

Mouratoglou: “Roger Federer”

Reporter: “Most Athletic?”

Mouratoglou: “Carlos Alcaraz”

Reporter: “Best Volley”

Mouratoglou: “Roger Federer”

The best return answer was what grabbed all the attention though. As ironic as it sounds, here’s a video of Patrick Mouratoglou himself, from the recent past, where he is explaining why Novak Djokovic has the best return in the sport. Mouratoglou attributed it to his “Split Step”, which is unique to other players. Djokovic anticipates his opponents’ shots and moves when they are ready to serve, and therefore, is always in a perpetual motion-like state.

Mouratoglou said, “Do you know one of the secrets of Novak Djokovic’s ‘Return’? It’s about the ‘Split Step’. Where all the players make a ‘Split Step’ right in front of them, he always anticipates. While the opponent is starting his serve and doesn’t see him, he is doing a ‘Split Step’ either inside, so he can anticipate the serve on the T, or outside, so you can anticipate the serve out wide. He has an edge on you already, while you are serving.”

Many other pundits also agree on the same. A New York Times article, “At the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic Isn’t the Most Beloved Player, But He Is the Best,” also starts with the excerpt that he is the ‘greatest returner in the sport’. Owing to this startling oversight from Mouratoglou, fans didn’t spare him in mocking or trolling in the comments. Many even called him being deliberately unfair to Rafael Nadal for not mentioning him in any answer either.

Before Djokovic’s era, 8-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi ruled the roster among the best returners in the world. An insane compilation of Agassi’s returns shows why he was such a lethal player in his prime. Years later, Agassi himself explained why he was so efficient in his returns.

Agassi said, “My approach to returning had to be very calculated. I didn’t have a great deal of size, of reach, of lateral coverage, so I had to make sure that what I could do, could leave a big enough impression on my opponent to affect th stability of their service game. When I got up to return serve, I acknowledged that they are gonna get their ‘Aces’. I wasn’t gonna worry about that.”

He continued, “What I was gonna worry about is if I did get my racquet on it, what was I gonna do with that shot? And the thing that I counted on time and time again, was the faster the ball comes, the faster it’s gonna go back with less effort. So my grips allowed me for quick changes, whetehr its gonna come to my back end or to my forehand.”

Agassi then acknowledged that, “For me it was about rotating my hips, and my racquet was plenty far back enough to use the pace and return the shot with interest.”

Agassi played more of a mental game with his opponents. While he let them have their aces, if they succeeded, he made sure his opponents missed their serve the next time. Such a mentality saw more successes than failures. But alas, Mouratoglou named neither of them as those who have the best serve.

Patrick Mouratoglou May Have a Point Since Novak Djokovic Too Once Picked Andy Murray

It is not that Andy Murray is any less when it comes to returning serves. Djokovic and Murray spoke to each other on Instagram Live four years ago. As the Essentially Sports reports, Djokovic paid the Brit the highest compliment then.

When talking about swapping each other’s one particular skill, Djokovic mentioned that he would have loved to get Murray’s ‘return shot’ any day. He even said that Murray trumped Federer and Nadal in that aspect.

Djokovic had said, “I would go with your return of serve because among you, Roger and Rafa, you were the hardest to serve against. Every ball used to come back and when I look at the highlights of our matches, I see so many rallies. When you gave a free point off my first serve, I would celebrate like I won a set.”

But Novak Djokovic’s superior skills in return shots got another worthy mention. Murray wanted to possess the same skill as Djokovic in returning. For tennis fans, it was a delight to enjoy both players playing their best return shots over the years. Therefore, both Patrick Mouratoglou and the tennis pundits may have valid points.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Tanmay Roy

Tanmay Roy


Tanmay Roy is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush, whose lifelong passion and zeal for the sport landed him this position. A writer with over 1000 articles under him, Tanmay fell in love with tennis in 2005 when Roger Federer defeated Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final after a stunning three sets. Tanmay followed the likes of the Big Three - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal from the mid-noughties to now. His interest was stronger than ever after the wonderful 2009 Wimbledon Final which saw Roger Federer win after a see-saw 5-set match. His favorite female tennis player is Serena Williams and Monica Seles. Tanmay's favorite match-up to date is Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick in the 2000s. If possible, the John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut first round match at the 2010 Wimbledon is the only match Tanmay would love to watch Live by going back in time. Of late, he is a huge fan of Jannik Sinner and believes the youngster has the potential to break every record.

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