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‘He Went to a Mental Health Facility..’- Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Explores Unknown Side of ‘King’ Richard in a Heartening Compton Tale

Published 11/02/2023, 6:12 AM EDT

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The world of tennis has witnessed many stories of legends walking in and going out with their shining portfolios of achievements. Out of all those, Venus and Serena Williams, along with their childhood coach Rick Macci and father Richard Williams, have always been a point of attraction for the fans. Bringing in another surprise from history, tennis Hall of Fame coach Rick Macci recently shared a tale that surprised fans.

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With a story nothing less than a movie, the Williams family has always fascinated fans with tales starting from their practice sessions to their ultimate glory. Fans, unable to resist their obsession with every other detail of the most famous tennis family, always keep looking for stories of struggle, glory, and amusement. It is a lucky day for such fans because recently, Rick Macci took his chance to narrate a warming tale, rooting back to Compton.

Serena Williams’ childhood coach shares the tale of King Richard’s kind nature


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In a heartwarming tale from the tennis world, Serena Williams’ childhood coach, Rick Macci, recently revealed an unexpected side of the legendary Richard Williams. While many tennis fans today know Richard as the father and coach of tennis icons Venus and Serena, there’s also a lesser-known side of his compassion that the legendary coach found worth sharing.

Rick Macci, on being asked about any tale from King Richard’s life, said, “There’s always balls everywhere because this was about repetition, repetition, repetition, and the girls hit tens of thousands of balls a day. That’s a lot of balls to be picked up.” Despite Venus and Serena Williams occasionally pitching in to collect the tennis balls, Richard decided to make a significant change one day.


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As the 68-year-old coach continued the narration, he revealed how unexpectedly, a man appeared on the court, picking up the tennis balls. Macci was puzzled and asked, “Who’s this guy?” To which Richard responded, “You just hired him. You’re paying him $10 an hour.” Macci was surprised, thinking, “I’m hiring a guy to pick up balls? I’ll pick them up myself.”

But there was more to the story. Macci shocked fans as he revealed that Richard went to a “Mental health facility”, showing a rather unfamiliar side of him. He brought out someone who wanted to get out, be around his daughters, and have an opportunity to experience a different environment. This was the guy whom Richard appointed to pick the balls. As Macci winded up with the narration, he expressed, “This shows you the heart of this guy, just besides picking up $10 or whatever, he influenced someone’s life. One of the many reasons I love Richard Williams is because he was more about life lessons than tennis lessons.”


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Famous actor Will Smith played a part in revealing King Richard’s story

Rick Macci, being connected to the legendary tennis family for a long time, never failed to amaze fans with great stories from the lives of all three members of the Williams family. Besides him, another famous entity got in touch with them and presented a clear picture of their struggles. Will Smith, a famous name in Hollywood, played the role of Richard Williams’ in the movie called ‘King Richard’.


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As the film caught air and was streamed on several prominent platforms like Amazon Prime Video and Max, it happened to be the perfect medium for collectively exposing fans to several stories of struggle coming right from the minds of Serena Williams and other members of the family. The Williams family, having two of the most followed names in the tennis world, continues to stay a point of motivation, for the fans as well as the aspiring players.

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Written by:

Akshay Kapoor


One take at a time

Akshay Kapoor is a tennis writer at Essentially Sports. With a commendable experience of around 2 years in sports journalism under his belt, Akshay joined ES with the intention of taking the next step in honing his skills. Born into a family that practically breathes tennis, Akshay spent his early days huddled together with his loved ones, watching the electrifying rallies of the legendary Rafael Nadal.
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