‘I Wanted All the Stars Aligned’: Rick Macci Reveals Unique Tactics He Used for Venus Williams’ Debut

Published 01/22/2022, 5:14 AM EST
Venus Williams playing a shot at the Australian Open Quarter Finals

Rick Macci is considered to be one of the best coaches tennis has ever seen. In his career spanning 40 years, Ricci has coached some of the best players of the sport. 

On Saturday, Rick Macci posted a video on his YouTube account. The USPTA coach was seen answering a journalist and explaining the practice session of Venus Williams’ debut at the Bank of the West Classic. Giving insights into the session, he spoke about how correct tactics helped Venus win her debut match. 

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The coach has recently been in the headlines for being at the backend of the recent film ‘King Richard.’

Rick Macci explains what happened that day

Macci started off by giving a brief of the whole situation. He said, “The day of the match when I got Venus the wild card to play the Bank of the West Classic. And you know, late October 31st, 1994, got her the wild card to play the match.”

22 Jul 1992: Venus Williams receives instructions from her father Richard and coach Rick Macci in Florida. Mandatory Credit: Ken Levine /Allsport

The start coach went on to give a brief about her hitting partner for the practice session. He elaborated saying that her partner Gerard was one of her hitting partners for almost three and a half years. However, Venus had never beaten him at that time. He remembered telling Gerard to make it close and let Venus get the set to a tiebreaker. 

Adding to it, he gave a brief about how Williams came off the court in excitement and told him “Rick, I’m peaking at the right time.” Giving a reason for it, Rick told that he wanted her to feel fully motivated. He said, “I wanted her as a coach I wanted her to feel great. I wanted all the stars aligned. I wanted that motivation so high in her head.” 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 08: Venus Williams of The United States of America celebrates after winning match point in her Women’s Singles first round match against Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium during day one of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 08, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

He ended the video by giving out the importance of the right coaching and applying the right tactics at the right time. 

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Rick Macci’s career

Rick Macci’s career started in the 1970s when he joined Bob Schul’s Sports Complex as a tennis player. After training here for some time, he went on to join Sinnet Indoor Tennis Club in New Jersey. Playing at the club, he soon became the top-ranked adult player in New Jersey.

Rick Macci became a tennis coach in the 1980s. Starting the Rick Macci International Tennis Academy, one of his first students were, former world number one Jennifer Capriati. 

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22 Jul 1992: Venus Williams receives instructions from her father Richard and coach Rick Macci in Florida. Mandatory Credit: Ken Levine /Allsport

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Rick has coached some of the best players around the globe. His coaching career has a bucket full of world number ones, along with many other big names of the sport. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Jennifer Capriati, Karim Alami…the list goes on. 

Watch this story- Venus Williams Emotional in the Last Virgil Abloh Show, Pays Her Tribute to the Iconic Fashion Designer

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Becoming one of the best coaches, Macci was inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame in 2017. 

 

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Ahmar Wasif

494 articles

Ahmar Wasif is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is a national level tennis player and has a number of titles to his name. His experience on the court allows him to incorporate a deeper understanding in his coverage of the sport.

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