Maria Sharapova and Sofia Kenin Were More Mature Than Serena Williams, Says Former Coach

Published 11/12/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 4, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. during her third round match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


Rick Macci is an American coach and former tennis player. In his distinguished coaching career, he has worked with some top-ranked players like Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Andy Roddick.

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In a recent podcast, Macci talked about the much awaited biopic ‘King Richard’. American star Jon Bernthal is playing the coach’s character in the movie. Furthermore, the tennis coach compared Serena Williams with Maria Sharapova and Sofia Kenin at a young age. According to Macci, Sharapova and Kenin were more mature compared to Serena Williams.

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Former coach compared Serena Williams with Sofia Kenin

Rick Macci coached Serena Williams when she was 10 years old. However, he didn’t find Williams as determined back then. Recently, Macci discussed what Williams, Sharapova, and Kenin were like at a young age.

Rick Macci said, “At young age, the one common thread well there’s two. Mentally they were a little different. And it just the way they were wired, they just were there. But you get that later, I didn’t see that Serena at 10 years old, I didn’t see it in her then. Because she was more happy-go-lucky, a little prankster kind of goofing around a lot but she wasn’t mature enough.”

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 06: Serena Williams of USA looks on during her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan on day eight of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 06, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The American coach then compared Serena with Sofia Kenin. He added, “But I saw it in Kenin and I knew if I could teach her the geometry of the court and just understand how to take the ball early. Because she wasn’t going to be that big… But she had amazing hand-eye coordination.”

Watch This Story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

Macci also drew a parallel between Williams and Sharapova

The former American tennis player also collaborated with Maria Sharapova when she was only 11. Speaking about Sharapova, he said, “The same thing with Sharapova, I had her at 11. Her forehead was a nightmare, I actually switched her to play left-handed… Mentally they had something and it’s a package.”

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LONDON – JULY 3: Maria Sharapova of Russia poses with her trophy after she won against Serena Williams of USA (R) in the ladies final match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship on July 3, 2004 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in LondonSharapova won 6-1 6-4. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The age of 10 is incredibly young for a child, even if they’re training to compete with the best in the sport. Additionally, it seems like Serena’s ‘happy-go-luckiness’ paid off, as she stands today with 23 Grand Slam titles, amongst the best to ever grace a tennis court.

Serena has been out since Wimbledon due to a hamstring injury. However, she recently announced some optimistic news regarding her injury. She also gave a hint about her return to the tennis court at the Australian Open 2022.

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Do you think Serena will go all the way in Australia?

DIVE DEEPER

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Atri Bhatt

389 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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