Serena Williams coach confident she'll play the French Open

Mar 12, 2018; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Serena Williams (USA) leaves the court after she was defeated by Venus Williams in her third round match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS (Reuters) - Serena Williams’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou said he was confident that the 23-time grand slam singles champion would take part in the French Open this month.

The 36-year-old Williams, who has not played on clay this season, withdrew from the Madrid and Rome tournaments because she was not ready to compete.

“Serena will play the French Open to win it. Can she do it? Serena can achieve anything - after being her coach for six years, I’m even more sure of that statement,” Mouratoglou said in an interview with tour organizers WTA on Monday.

The Frenchman, however, admitted she returned too soon after her pregnancy, which resulted in early exits in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

“After her pregnancy, Serena had to rebuild her body. When she arrived at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, around April 30, we realized that she was not ready yet,” said Mouratoglou.

“The time she lost after the delivery, with all the medical issues she had to go through, was missing.”

The French Open starts on May 27.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge