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Serena Williams’ Coach Patrick Mouratoglou Told Her to Stop Breast-Feeding Daughter Alexis Olympia

serena williams stop breastfeeding advice male coach
Serena Williams is seen leaving the Versace show during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 on September 23, 2016 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)Getty Images

Serena Williams stopped breast-feeding after six months at the suggestion of her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. “If you want to be successful in tennis, tennis has to be priority No 1,” Mouratoglou said in Time magazine’s cover story published on Thursday, August 16.

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Williams, who welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia with her husband Alexis Ohanian in September 2017, was torn when Mouratoglou — a former boyfriend — advised that she stop nursing. “It’s absolutely hard to take from a guy,” she told Time. “He’s not a woman, he doesn’t understand that connection, that the best time of the day for me was when I tried to feed her. I’ve spent my whole life making everyone happy, just servicing it seems like everyone. And this is something I wanted to do.”

While Williams, 36, felt pressure from Mouratoglou to switch Olympia, now an 11-month-old, over to the bottle, it was her decision to wean the baby. “I looked at Olympia, and I was like, ‘Listen, Mommy needs to get her body back, so Mommy’s going to stop now,’” the 23-time Grand Slam champion recalled. “We had a really good conversation. We talked it out.”

serena williams stop breastfeeding advice male coach
Serena Williams on the cover of Time Magazine Courtesy of Time

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The athlete has been refreshingly honest about her working-mom guilt. — in July, she tweeted about breaking down into tears after missing Olympia’s first steps. “Sometimes she just wants Mommy, she doesn’t want anyone else,” the Being Serena star explained to the magazine. “I still have to learn a balance of being there for her, and being there for me. I am working on it. I never understood women before, when they put themselves in second or third place. And it’s so easy to do. It’s so easy to do.”

Wiliams and 35-year-old Reddit cofounder Ohanian split their time between California and Florida. “I always assumed I’d marry a black guy,” she admitted. “I always felt that I could relate more with a black guy, that we’d have more struggles in common, you know?”

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The couple met in in 2015 and announced their engagement on Reddit the following year.

“I came home/A little late/Someone had a bag packed for me/And a carriage awaited/Destination: Rome/To escort me to my very own [“charming”],” she wrote. /Back to where our stars first collided/And now it was full circle/At the same table we first met by chance/This time he made it not by chance/But by choice/Down on one knee/He said 4 words/And/r/isaidyes.”

The venture capitalist responded: ”And you made me the happiest man on the planet.”

They tied the knot in November 2017.

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