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Obscure Tale Discloses Serena Williams’ ‘Green Day’ Frenzy as Childhood Coach Sheds Light on the American’s 11-Year-Old Antics

Published 10/10/2023, 5:00 PM EDT

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Stories from the past are always a delight. In a recent conversation, Serena’s childhood coach, Rick Macci, slipped in a chuckling story about the star. According to Macci, Serena was quite moody at times. To her credit, she was only a child when she started her training. But since fans are always eager to know more about their idols, the case of Serena Williams is no different.

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The 39-time Grand Slam winner has ruled tennis like no one else, being in the circuit for 28 long years. While Serena went up to break records and even created many of her own, it is quite interesting that Macci still remembers all these stories from the past when she was just starting out.

Serena Williams and hunger don’t go together


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Coach Macci has often been found telling stories from Serena’s earlier days. He takes his story sessions mainly to Twitter. And recently, he was asked about a funny story from Serena’s training days that didn’t make it to the film ‘King Richard’. Macci seemed excited even thinking about it and so he began what he believed was the funniest story from those good old days.

Macci once saw Williams just sitting around the court. This was back in 1992, so he asked her to step up her game. He told her, “Meek, you gotta move your feet!” Serena with a straight face asked why, prompting Rick to say, “You say you want to be number one!” Serena gave him that iconic look but geared up in a unique way nonetheless. She told Rick, “I’m really, really hungry”, and struck up a deal with the coach. Her cravings? Curly fries, a Snickers bar, and a Pepsi from the snack machine. She also had her eyes on a Green Day t-shirt stand she’d seen earlier. While that was possibly one of the earliest instances of her love for Greenday, Rick even then knew Serena meant business, and so he sent Scott to fetch everything.


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Serena devoured her snacks in 15 minutes, promising Rick something special. With renewed energy, she trained intensely for an hour, making that tall, skinny girl on the next court look slow in comparison. That other kid was none other than her older sister, Venus Williams. This fiery determination, fueled by snacks and the promise of greatness, defined Serena Williams’ journey to tennis stardom, all under Rick Macci’s watchful eye. According to Macci, this story should have made it to the movie “King Richard”.


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Macci’s role in making Serena the best

There is no doubt that Serena Williams is blessed with natural talent, and her dad caught onto it early on. However, Rick has an equally important value in this whole equation. He trained both sisters with zest, and it shows. Although, with all the hard training, there were always moments of absolute fun. Macci still never tires of talking about how Serena’s little acts of innocence sometimes kept him laughing.

While talking to Tim Storey and David Meltzer earlier this year, Macci revealed Serena’s closed-fist story. Back in the day, all the kids training for tennis used to play tag. It was then that Macci noticed Serena with a closed fist. Macci asked the young champ to keep her hands open while playing tag. However, he also encouraged her by letting her know she was doing great.


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Richard and Macci, both stood by the girls through thick and thin. These moments of pure joy are equally important as all the training for shaping them into the successful women they are today—and the Willaims sisters have only their coaches to thank for striking that balance.

WATCH THIS STORY: 18-Year-Old Coco Gauff Dreams To Replicate Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka’s Fashion Feat in an Unexpected Fan Confession

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Written by:

Charrvi Singh


One take at a time

Charrvi Singh is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports. Having majored in psychology, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, often exploring the psyche of the biggest tennis stars. At ES, Charrvi focuses on covering the numerous intriguing developments in the personal lives of tennis stars along with topics that provide readers with the different aspects of their favorite sports personalities.
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Edited by:

Mitali Dey