Patrick Mouratoglou gestured to Williams in the stands during her tempestuous defeat by Japan’s Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows, leading to a code violation and sparking a heated row between the American great and the chair umpire.
Williams, who denied seeing Mouratoglou’s signalling, was incensed at the official’s strict interpretation of the rule and said post-match that she felt a victim of sexism.
The Australian Open has followed the US Open’s lead by trialling on-court coaching during qualifying this year but the practice remains banned for the main draw events starting on Monday.
Mouratoglou, however, believes the rule will remain patchily enforced at Melbourne Park and the other three grand slams, and coaches will not feel extra pressure to comply.
“As you know, 99 per cent of the matches it’s tolerated,” Mouratoglou said.
“It’s something that people don’t even think about it, just do it every match. And it doesn’t make any problem.
“If it becomes really, really obvious, (umpires) will call the player or tell her: ‘the coach is really coaching too much, can you ask him to slow down otherwise I will have to give you a warning.’ Everybody’s careful and it’s fine.
“So I don’t see any stress from players or coaches with coaching during the matches, to be honest.”
Mouratoglou said he and Williams had decided not to do any on-court coaching, even at the tournaments on the professional women’s WTA circuit where it is permitted.
“It’s not that she doesn’t want (it),” he said of 37-year-old Williams, who is bidding for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title and eighth at Melbourne Park after missing last year’s tournament while on maternity leave.
“I think her number one quality is to be the best competitor ever, and I don’t want to think that suddenly she needs someone to be a better competitor. That would make her weaker.
“So for me, it doesn’t make sense for someone like her.”