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‘A Whole Different Athlete’ – Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Turns Nostalgic as He Reminisces an Iconic 1994 Venus Williams Tale

Published 09/13/2023, 8:55 AM EDT

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From start to end, Venus and Serena Williams left their imprint on the tennis courts. Who knew in the beginning that two young girls from Compton would take tennis to a different level? However, one person who worked closely with them foresaw their success. The iconic sisters’ childhood coach, Rick Macci, shared the confidence that he had in Venus Williams.

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The renowned American tennis court has trained a lot of popular names in the tennis world, starting with the Williams sisters, followed by Andy Roddick and even Maria Sharapova. But recently, after nurturing some number-one talents, he shared a rare insight into the young Venus Williams.

Rick Macci recollects how a young Venus Williams set the court on fire


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Recently, the 41-year-old American tennis legend’s childhood coach took to his own YouTube channel to share a video about one of his all-time favorite students. He recalled the time when Williams first burst into tennis in the 1990s as a professional tennis player.

He said, “I knew one thing: people would see this tall, thin girl from Compton, California, run like the wind, okay? It’s like a whole different athlete was coming in the pro tennis, and the fact that she won that match and then on most beat number one in the world, people knew right then and there.”


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This was the time when the 43-year-old American tennis legend made her debut by playing a match at the Bank of the West Classic in October 1994. Along with that, he also highlighted how she was just a whole different athlete who had just entered the professional tennis world.

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At the same time, she won her first match, making her position in the sport clear. Nevertheless, last year he also recalled the young Venus’ displayed tremendous resilience and bravery.

Rick Macci recounts young Williams’ brave behavior

The Williams sisters’ former tennis coach last year took to his Twitter account to share how the seven-time Grand Slam champion had a strong mental build-up from the very beginning. He recounted a memory: when he took the 14-year-old Venus Williams to her pro debut in Oakland, California; he had never seen a practice court before.


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He added how there was a lefty who joined their courts with her coach. Looking into that, the then 14-year-old bravely asked Macci to tell the lady to move over so that she could play in the nets. And that lady was none other than Martina Navratilova, who had 59 Grand Slam titles under her belt and is considered one of the best players to ever grace the sport.

Nevertheless, what do you think about the young Venus Williams’ fearless and carefree nature on the tennis court? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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Pratishtha Prakash

1574 articles

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. Being a sports enthusiast, she has been following varied sports like tennis, cricket and Esports from her childhood.

Edited By: Amal Joyce