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‘GOAT Qualities as a Kid’: Rick Macci Recalls Serena Williams’ ‘Brutal Compton Street Fights’

Published 03/24/2023, 3:12 PM EDT

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Serena Williams, the American tennis legend, has dominated the tennis courts and the hearts of many fans for over two decades. Her skills and discipline were honed through years of hard work and dedication. Fans are inspired by her competitive spirit, which was present from a young age. And this was recently confirmed by her former coach, Rick Macci, who recalled the ‘brutal Compton street fights‘ that helped shape Serena’s ‘GOAT qualities’ as a kid.

Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and broke numerous records over her almost three-decade-long career. However, her journey to the top wasn’t an easy one. She grew up in Compton, a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles, and had to face many challenges to achieve her dreams.

Serena Williams’ ex-coach tweets about his favorite student


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Richard Williams saw tennis as a way for his daughters to escape the rough neighborhood and pursue a better life. And it wasn’t long before their talents were noticed by Rick Macci, a renowned tennis coach. Macci first met the sisters when they were just nine and ten years old. Right from that young age, Serena Williams has always been a fierce competitor who never gives up. The exemplary ‘GOAT qualities’ that Macci saw in her helped her become the tennis legend she is today.

USA Today via Reuters

The coach was impressed by their natural athleticism and competitive drive, despite their young age. Macci recently tweeted, “Even at age 10, Serena always loved to play competitive points every day..” 


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He also added, “When the winner got a snack or tee shirt, it was a brutal Compton street fight and must-see TV! Goat qualities as a kid.🐐”


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Serena’s success wasn’t just down to her natural talent and competitive drive. She also had a strong support system in her family, her elder sister, and coaches like Macci, who believed in her. It was their guidance and blessings that helped her overcome the many obstacles she faced along the way.

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Macci shared details about Serena in a recent podcast


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In a recent appearance on the Parenting Aces podcast, the American coach Rick Macci discussed the unique characteristics and athleticism that different tennis players possess. Macci emphasized the importance of looking at the bigger picture when training and developing a player. During the podcast, Macci offered his thoughts on Serena and Venus Williams.

Macci also mentioned that if a player has strong mental fortitude and anticipation skills, it can greatly benefit their game. He mentioned how, at that young age, Serena had exceptional timing and could anticipate what was coming before it happened.



Dr Aditya Raveendran Menon

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Aditya Menon is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He developed an unbridled love for tennis from the moment his father introduced him to the sport. Watching Roger Federer dominate the ATP tour with his unique and effortless style played a pivotal role in pushing Aditya to write about tennis for national publications.

Edited By: Tony Thomas