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‘Can’t Come Up With Any Explanation’ – Venus and Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Tries to Comprehend the Bizarre Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscar Fiasco

Published 06/19/2022, 10:17 AM EDT

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The movie King Richard revolving around Venus and Serena Williams’ life graced the theaters in the year 2021. It received tremendous love from the audience. Further, the movie also pleased critics and gained nominations for several awards. One of the most noteworthy nominations that the movie garnered was from the Oscars.

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King Richard was in the race for six awards. Though at the night of the 94th Academy Awards, something happened that soured the entire vibe. Will Smith, the actor who portrayed Richard Williams, slapped the host Chris Rock and brought everyone linked to the movie under the microscope. Therefore, Rick Macci Williams’ sister’s former coach was also asked to share his views about the incident.


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Rick Macci about Will Smith’s actions

The American tennis coach recently sat down for a podcast and came across an inevitable question regarding Oscar’s incident. When asked about what, according to him, made Will Smith take such measures, he replied, “I know a lot of people have asked me this. I know this is gonna sound a little different for the listeners. Remember what I said earlier, the walk, the talk, the mannerisms. This guy became Richard Williams, and it happened during COVID. So it got extended a lot. He was probably talking to his own family, like Richard.”

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 “I’m not endorsing anything that happened. That was beyond bizarre. But if you remember, in the movie, Richard went off on that guy interview in Venus without leaving her alone. And I just think, for whatever reason, Will lost it and he went up there and did that. He was, I think, still Richard, because I can’t come up with any explanation. Why, on the biggest platform, he would do something like that, because I met him obviously. He’s a great guy.”


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Rick Macci is one of the most prominent coaches of the duo. He, along with Richard Williams, trained Serena and Venus during their teenage days and made the sisters strong enough to make an impactful debut. Therefore, his impact on the former World No.1s was also covered in the movie.


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When are Venus and Serena Williams returning to the courts?

Both the Williams sisters walked out of the circuit around the 2021 Wimbledon championship with a leg injury. However, now, after almost a year, they are at different stages of recovery. While the 23 times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is ready to make a comeback, Venus is still requires time.

Watch this story: How many Williams sisters are there besides Venus and Serena Williams?


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Serena Williams has enrolled herself in a doubles tournament for warming up before her run for the 8th Wimbledon trophy. She will play alongside Tunisian No.1 Ons Jabeur at the grass courts of Eastbourne a week prior to the Grand Slam.

Further speaking about the 41-year-old she has allotted her present coach Eric Hechtman to Serena. Therefore, her chances of playing in this year’s grass swing are close to none.

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Written by:

Mahima Verma


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Mahima Verma is a Tennis writer for EssentiallySports. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. A sports enthusiast, particularly Tennis since her childhood, Mahima believes that she is fortunate enough to witness the legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams play.
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Edited by:

Deepakshi Chaudhary