Serena Williams was ahead, yes, but hardly at her best, when claps of thunder and a heavy downpour interrupted her third-round French Open match at a critical juncture.
So during a delay of more than 21/2 hours right before a second-set tiebreaker Saturday against 26th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France, Williams met with coach Patrick Mouratoglou.
“I spoke 10 minutes, which is far too long. . . . A long speech is not a good speech; it has to be short and powerful,” Mouratoglou recounted later. “My point was just to make her think the way she thinks when she's good, when she's playing like Serena plays.”
Coming out of the...