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Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Narrates a Memorable Martina Navratilova Story That Paved the Way for a Truly Legendary Career

Published 10/23/2023, 10:02 AM EDT

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Rick Macci is an icon of tennis. The American coach has trained players like Serena WilliamsVenus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Maria Sharapova, and many more. Macci has had a heavy impact on the sport as he has produced several champions. Every tennis fan is aware of his efforts, but few know about how he became a tennis coach. He recently shared his story in an interview.

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In the interview, Macci, who has trained several big hitters in the sport, talked about how Martina Navratilova and many others of his time inspired him and made him a coach of the stars.

Childhood coach of Serena Williams reveals journey of becoming a great coach


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In the recent edition of the ‘This is My Why’ podcast, the 68-year-old coach talked about his eventful life as he coached players who were set to become champions. Macci also talked about how he ended up on the path to becoming such a coach. He remembered watching the United Airlines Sunburn Cup in the 1980s, which was won by Martina Navratilova

During her win, the commentators talked about the Green Leaf Golf and Tennis Resort, which hosted the Cup. They talked about building new facilities which prompted Macci to call them and ask them about the club. 


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So I picked up the phone, I called the place, and they actually said, ‘We’re hiring someone to be like assistant director of the tennis, and I got a stack of resumés this high on my desk, and I’m making uh a decision in a week, but if you want to fly down on your own you can do it’.” 

Macci was not sure about the opportunity at first and kept wondering if he should take it up. He eventually chose to visit the Resort, which was in Hanne, Florida, and met with the decision-makers.

I met with the guy we talked, we played, we spent all weekend together. He took me back okay Sunday night, dropped me off at the airport, and he said, ‘If you want this job, it’s yours’. So I, I and it was gonna be at less money, and so I’m thinking give me a few days, so I thought about a few days I said you know what? I’m going for it.”

His efforts paid off, and Macci began a coaching career that would see many stars in his roster, which gave him endless glory.


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Venus and Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Singles Out the ‘Only Real Difference’ Between the Legendary Sisters

The legendary coaching career of Macci

The 68-year-old coach taught tennis to the Williams sisters, Jennifer Capriati, Maria Sharapova, and even Andy Roddick. Macci has trained five players who have ranked number 1. Brought several players to the world stage and has contributed in 86 singles, doubles, and mixed grand slam titles. Macci has also contributed to 8 Olympic gold medals, which have skyrocketed the glory of the US.


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The legendary coach may not have started out as the best one in the world. But he pulled out all the stops for his players. The record he amasses now puts him in contention as one of the best coaches to exist in the sport. After a long career, he can reap the benefits and indulge in the fruits of his labor. 

Watch This Story – She Has Thick Arms and Thick Legs Maria Sharapova Divulged Fear Factor Upon Meeting Arch Rival Serena Williams for the First Time

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba


One take at a time

Ripunjay Gaba is a Senior Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports with an unwavering passion for the sport and a deep admiration for Roger Federer. He specializes in providing in-depth coverage of everything related to the 'Swiss Maestro' and has authored more than 900 articles to date. Prior to joining EssentiallySports, Ripunjay worked as a freelance writer for a well-respected sports publication, where he honed his writing skills by covering the lives of various renowned sports stars.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob