Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic have more in common than their legendary tennis resumes, according to Patrick Mouratoglou. The renowned French coach says that what sets the 23- and 20-time Grand Slam champions apart from the rest of the field is not their on-court prowess but their “ultimate mindset”.

“Champions, they have the mindset and the mindset builds the tennis,” Mouratoglou said in an Instagram post. “It’s all about the mindset, and this is true for everything.

"Some players that I know, they are champions in their mind."


Mouratoglou knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a tennis champion. Since he began coaching Serena in 2012, he has guided her to 10 of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and he has mentored the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff at his academy.

The French coach also recalled watching a teenage Serbian player rise up the ranks. Despite not being overly impressed with his on-court performance at the time, he immediately recognized that same champion mentality.

That player, none other than Djokovic, recently passed a record 350 weeks as ATP World No. 1, and owns the joint-most Grand Slam titles of any male player.

Some players that I know, they are champions in their mind. Patrick Mouratoglou

“I remember Novak when he was 17. You don’t think, ‘Wow! His tennis is incredible,’” Mouratoglou said. “But the mindset is unbelievable.

“Novak has the ultimate mindset of a champion. Same as Serena. So they developed their tennis.”

Despite their shared traits, Djokovic and Serena will face divergent paths as the 2022 season approaches.

Djokovic is scheduled to head to Melbourne to seek a record-breaking 21st major trophy—although questions still surround his participation due to Australia’s COVID-19 regulations—while Serena recently announced that she will not compete Down Under following the advice of her medical team.