The longtime coach of the world No. 1 had some thoughts to share. (AP Photo)

Talk about an opportunity to catch up on everything else.

In a New York Times interview, Patrick Mouratoglou, heralded coach of Serena Williams, shared thoughts on Maria Sharapova's return, Serena's future and what he will do during his charge's remainder-of-2017 outage from WTA play. 

Speaking to Serena's knack for—or lack of—communication, Mouratoglou, who runs his eponymous tennis academy in France in addition to his coaching duties, said he knew something was afoot. Then, 15 days before she had the news out to the world via a Snapchat photo and two words ("20 weeks"), she told him she was pregnant.

The news didn't quite surprise Mouratoglou, who expressed happiness for her and her betrothed, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. He also spoke to catching up on a good many projects he has placed on the so-called back burner during his long-term work alongside Serena—and who he thinks can make (literally) major gains during her time away from the tour, namely Victoria Azarenka (making a post-childbirth comeback in July) and Maria Sharapova (returning this week).

"Of course she can be a factor, especially in the context of the moment," Mouratoglou said of Sharapova. "She will need time. She will win lots of matches 7-5 in the third, 6-4 in the third, but I think she's aware of that. There's no reason she can't be competitive."

Clarey's article ends most ceremoniously. Asked whether he truly believes that Serena will return to sanctioned tennis matches, Mouratoglou sent a clarion call to her competitors and detractors: by all means, do write that she will not make it back, nor be nearly the same champion. "Please."

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