Serena Williams & # 39; obsession to match Margaret Court & # 39; s all-time grand slam singles record has brought the American to crazy new training levels, according to her old coach.
Patrick Mouratoglou has led Williams to nine major championships since he made contact with former world number 1 in 2012, but says he has never seen her work so hard this week on pursuing a 24th major at Wimbledon.
Maternity and a nagging knee injury had limited Williams to nine games since a quarter-final loss of the Australian Open to Karolina Pliskova in January. But the 37-year-old is now on the eve of history.
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Serena Williams against Barbora Strycova is expected to start after the first women's semi-final at Center Court, which starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 11 (AEST).
Williams will receive Czech Barbora Strycova, who is not yet occupied, on Thursday for a place in the final and a third shot at Margaret Court's record of 24. Losing the Wimbledon finals and last year's US Open to Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka has only further fueled Williams' wish.
Although Mouratoglou often gives up on Wednesday, he admitted that this was similar to Court's benchmark story, which has been unassailable for 46 years. That is precisely why Williams returned to tennis after the birth of daughter Olympia in September 2017, which also led to a pulmonary embolism that left her in bed for six weeks.
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"Twenty-four will mean she will equal the all-time record … and that's why she came back to play tennis after having a baby and so many medical complications," he told reporters from the All England Club.
"I have never seen anything like that before.
"You have no idea how much she has worked, how hard she has worked to get back to that level and she came back for that (record), so it will probably mean a lot if she makes it."
After losing a few pounds and also playing "so much lighter" in the mind after her return to full health in recent weeks, Williams is a much-loved player to beat Strycova for the fourth time in as many meetings .
"She's in a good place right now," said Mouratoglou. "She is happy, has a house, her husband is here, her daughter is here and she is pain free.
"In the last competition you could see that she could raise her level when needed, which is one of her trademarks and this is back.
"So everything is positive."
Victory over the 54th-ranked Strycova, who is the oldest grand-super-semi-finalist in 33 for the first time in 50 years of open tennis, would bring Williams to an eleventh Wimbledon final on Saturday.
World No.10 would play the Romanian seventh seed Simona Halep or the Ukrainian eighth seed Elina Svitolina, who clash in the other semi-final on Thursday.
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