The man who admitted to illegally coaching Serena Williams in the US Open final appears to have done it again.
Patrick Mouratoglou has been spotted in Stefanos Tsitsipas’ players box during the Australian Open, helping out the Greek youngster on top of his role as Serena’s coach.
But it looks as though he might not have learnt his lesson from Flushing Meadows.
During Tsitsipas’ win over Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday, the 20-year-old was handed a code violation for receiving mid-match coaching.
The coaching occurred as Tsitsipas was making his way off court early in the match, with someone from his box leaning down and saying something to him.
Many suggested Mouratoglou was the offending party, including a number of journos.
Mouratoglou giving Tsitsipas advice as Tsitsipas leaves the court and he gets a coaching warning. Can Mouratoglou just go away? #AUSOPEN
— wtaaddict (@wtaaddict) January 22, 2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas handed a coaching violation.
Was that Patrick Mouratoglou's doing again 👀?
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) January 22, 2019
So Patrick Mouratoglou is in Tsitsipas' coaching box, and Tsitsipas gets a coaching violation? Coincidence much? 😳😂 Tsitsipas reacts the best way possible, though — he doesn't even blink. #AusOpen
— Caroline Taylor (@carolineneisha) January 22, 2019
Coaching warning from Cicak to Tsitsipas. Father Apostolos and Patrick Mouratoglou in his box…
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 22, 2019
Mouratoglou should know better though, was he not involved in an on-court coaching issue just awhile ago at the US Open?
Tsitsipas has been communicating with his box all match and the Ump – Keothavong hasn't cautioned him for once. #AusOpen
— Latifat Adebayo Ohio (@Phatill) January 20, 2019
Coaching violation for Tsitsipas.
Patrick Mouratoglou is in his box.
— Chaitu (@chaitumsc) January 22, 2019
In his post-match press conference, Tsitsipas said it was simply his father telling him he needed to drink more.
Earlier this week, Mouratoglou opened up on the US Open controversy, which saw Serena handed three code violations and docked a whole game in the loss.
Williams was beaten in straight sets by Naomi Osaka, but the encounter was overshadowed by the American’s remarkable row with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, which stemmed from her receiving a coaching violation early in the contest.
A furious Williams went on to receive two further code violations, losing a point and then a game as a result, and expressed bemusement after the match when it emerged Mouratoglou had admitted to providing advice from the stands.
Following Serena’s absorbing three-set victory over Simona Halep in the last 16 of the Australian Open on Monday, Mouratoglou addressed the media and was asked if he feared the incident would “irreparably damage” their relationship.
“No, I didn’t worry about that at all,” insisted the Frenchman.
“First of all, I hope that every time a coach gets a code violation for coaching he doesn’t get fired, otherwise there will be guys fired every two days, a problem. Second, I hope that our seven-year relationship is a bit stronger than a chair umpire.
“Third, if she would have done something, I think that would be an emotional decision, and she doesn’t do that. She’s much too smart to do that.”
Pressed on the strength of his bond with Williams, he added: “She’s a very loyal person. She’s incredibly loyal. I think also she’s very responsible. She doesn’t blame others for her problems.
“She would never blame me. She takes everything on her, because she’s strong enough and courageous enough and confident enough to be able to look at herself and say, I failed. Not that many people do that. It’s easier to put it on somebody else. I think we trust each other. We have been very successful.”
Mouratoglou insisted he had no desire to go into detail regarding events in New York, adding: “I’m really okay to talk about that, believe me, more than you can think, but I want Serena to be into her tournament. I don’t want all these things around that everybody tries to bring back.
“We have a tournament to win. I want her to win it. She wants to win it. So let’s talk about it after the tournament. Believe me, I’m okay to talk about it. I’m happy to.”
Asked if he believes Williams – a beaten finalist at the last two majors – will go on to triumph at Melbourne Park and equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 slam singles titles, Mouratoglou replied: “Of course I believe she will win. If I don’t believe she will win I should coach somebody else.”