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Serena Williams’ 68-Year-Old Childhood Coach Hypes Up Her Rival Maria Sharapova as an Obscure Ambi-Dextrous Skill Takes the Spotlight

Published 08/10/2023, 10:36 AM EDT

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Renowned tennis coach Rick Macci, who was behind the early achievements of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, is once again making waves on social media with his heartfelt and heartfelt praise for the talent of former World no. 1 Maria Sharapova

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The praise comes just days after Macci’s statement in response to a recent controversy raised by her former agent Max Eisenbud who, while acknowledging her mental strength, described her as the worst athlete to win a Grand Slam title.

Serena Williams’ former coach unveiling Maria Sharapova’s unique tennis talent


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Recently, Macci showcased Sharapova’s unique ability to handle lobs with her non-dominant hand. The tweet read, “@MariaSharapova at age 11 was so focused and determined to reach that ball the RIGHT HANDED RUSSIAN ROCKET hit more lobs in one year than any player I ever coached but did it LEFT HANDED! At the end of the day a winner finds a way!”

Macci opening up about Sharapova’s athletic abilities not only shows his strong belief in her skills, but it also puts things in perspective as to how athleticism is seen. Some people say that tennis is mainly about running and jumping, but Macci has a much broader view on the subject as per his tweet. He emphasizes the importance of good eye-hand coordination and precise movement on the tennis court.


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Macci’s praise came days after he defended Sharapova, when her former agent called her ‘the worst player to ever win a Grand Slam.’ Macci never shies away from praising or defending his former students in the social media arena.

Macci’s defense of Sharapova’s athletic prowess

Macci’s tweet also challenges the way agents evaluate talent. He pointed out that these agents, who focus on business deals, can sometimes overlook the raw talent that makes players great. He pointed towards Sharapova’s remarkable achievements, five Grand Slam titles and No. 1 in the world as evidence of her true athletic ability.

Vexed by the ‘Worst Athlete’ Statement About Maria Sharapova, Ex-coach Slams Russian Star’s Agent for His ‘Limited Knowledge’


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“Maria Sharapova was a very good athlete. Agents do deals and most have limited knowledge in talent evaluation. When we think of athletic skills, we think running and jumping. Maria had incredible hand eye and her little steps were poppin the popcorn extra butter. Athletic ability is from your head to your toe! FIVE GRAND SLAMS/NUMBER 1 IN THE WORLD TRUST ME YOUR ATHLETIC!” Macci tweeted in defense of his former student.

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The tennis world has different views on this debate, some following the traditional view of the sport, while others embrace the broad and equitable approach that Macci advocates.

WATCH THIS STORY: Despite $500,000 Earnings Together, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova’s Unwavering Commitment to Tennis Rises to the Fore as Emma Raducanu Gets Real Advice



Ansh Tandon

460 articles

Ansh Tandon is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. Ansh received his undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has been working in content creation for 2+ years. Before Ansh stepped into sports journalism, he was a professional tennis player, honing his skills in national level tournaments for the past 12 years as an active AITA athlete.