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‘She Hurt Herself’ – Serena Williams’ Former Coach Explains Sofia Kenin’s Downfall

Published 10/23/2022, 7:10 AM EDT

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Sofia Kenin is one of the youngest players to win a Grand Slam title. She spent her formative years in tennis under the guidance of Venus and Serena Williams’ childhood coach Rick Macci. In a recent interview, the tennis coach reveals that after winning her first major title, the tennis star has lost her competitiveness due to off-court issues.

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The American tennis player won her first Grand Slam title at the 2020 Australian Open. She became the youngest American to achieve this feat since the 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, who won her maiden major title as a 19-year-old in 1999.


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Rick Macci spoke about the downward trajectory of Sofia Kenin’s career

The tennis coach has been a part of Kenin’s journey for a good amount of time. He has been with the 2020 Australian Open champion since she was five. Recently, the former tennis coach spoke about the top players he has trained in an interview with Firstsportz. In the interview, he talked about how Kenin’s attitude towards the sport might have changed a little, as she had other distractions.

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He said, “I think once she had all this success, okay then she gets other interests whether it be you know boyfriend or my dad’s not involved enough, you know, she lost a little the competitiveness because she has other interests. Umm this is my opinion and then she got injured, she hurt herself.” Macci believes that although she has taken her time, she is now ready to come back stronger after she deals with all her problems. 


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Further, he addressed that she is on her way back into the sport, and once she gets the competitiveness and commitment back into her performances, she can achieve more success. 


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Macci once compared the younger versions of Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams

The tennis coach has trained both Sofia Kenin and Serena Williams during their formative years. However, last year in an interview, the Hall of Famer tennis coach compared both of them and said that the 23-year-old former Australian Open champion was far more mature at a young age than Serena.


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According to him, Serena was more like a prankster person, happy-go-lucky, goofing around a little. But Kenin had great dedication to learn geometry because of her hand-eye coordination. And not just that, even mentally, both of these players had a different approach, back when Macci was coaching them.

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash


One take at a time

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. In the past, she has interned at the sports desk of The Hitavada, a regional English daily newspaper.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas