Carol Bouchard caught up with Patrick Mouratoglou ahead of the Australian Open final to offer some insights and a unique perspective on this year's title match.
WTA Staff

Patrick Mouratoglou, you're of course satisfied with Serena's semifinal match. What's your opinion on how she's played leading into this Australian Open final?
"Yes I'm satisfied to see her in the final, of course. Whoever the opponent is or whatever happened in the match, the goal was to reach this final and here she is. Now, I don't think she played a good match. She wasn't moving as well as she should have, but she kept the upper hand in this match thanks to her serve, her experience, her motivation and her ability to be decisive on the key points. She's always very strong in those moments of the big matches and she also knows to dig deep and to find solutions. She wasn't moving well, so she raised the level of her serve. She went through tough matches here and had a tough draw but each time she had the last word because she really wants to win this so badly. Great champions know how to raise their level when needed. Stress makes them play better, whereas it hampers most of the others."

What are your thoughts on what Madison Keys showed out there today?
"She's confirming all the potential we've been seeing in her for a while now. Her game is outstanding, as is the speed of her ball. She still has to improve but she's already playing incredibly well. She's dangerous and is one of those players who can really win Grand Slams in the years to come and, why not, be the No.1 player in the world one day. It's not the fact that she saved those match points that I find great about her. She has nothing to lose, her back is on the wall, she's playing the tennis of her life and has great feel. No, what I liked was the way she started the match. She played to win. And it must have been very tough as she was facing probably one of her idols, someone she admires. Also it was her first Grand Slam semifinal. All was here for her to be tight but she wasn't. She accepted to make some errors as she was really going for her shots. She wasn't scared to take charge. Her qualities are really obvious and it's the whole women's tennis that is changing right now."

Do you prepare a final as if it was something different than the previous matches?
"No, it's not different because it has been working until now. It'd be a mistake to now change things that we do on a daily basis and that are working really well. And one mustn't give this match too big of a meaning. It's a final, yes but it's a tennis match like all the previous ones she has won. If you don't keep this mindset, then you're going to raise the stress level way too high and it's useless. She needed to reach her best level for the most important matches. She needed to be at her best from the quarterfinals, like her serve needed to be totally in control from this point for example. If it's not the case before we can work through it, but now it has to be on top."

Is Serena thinking about Steffi Graf's record already?
"To be honest I don't think so. I think she feels it's way too far still. She's just looking at the next Grand Slam and it's enough for her to feel the desire to go on. With the tournament she had, believe me she wouldn't be into this final if she weren't very motivated."