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All You Need to Know About How Venus and Serena Williams’ Parents Taught Them Tennis

Published 04/18/2023, 8:28 AM EDT

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Serena Williams first stepped into the limelight when she defeated Martina Hingis in the 1999 US Open final, aged 17. Serena and Venus Williams learned tennis together and competed together. It is well known in the realm of tennis that Serena took more time to reach the fame that Venus enjoyed early in her career. However, despite that, she ended up surpassing her elder sister.

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After facing all the trials and tribulations that life can throw, the two sisters have emerged from the other side as some of the best players the sport has seen. And the person at the forefront, plotting every step of the plan, was none other than their father, Richard Williams. Oracene Price, the Williams sisters’ mother, also had an underrated role in their success on the WTA Tour.

Serena and Venus Williams were coached by the same person


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Richard Williams is the one accredited with coaching the Williams sisters. Richard adopted many methods to teach his daughters from a young age. As per the American, he wrote a 78 page plan on how to take the two to great heights before they were even born. He started taking them to tennis practice when they were four and three, respectively.

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According to a report published by Time, Richard himself took lessons from a person known as ‘Old Whiskey’ and decided that he would make his daughters great tennis players after he watched a match of Virginia Ruzici on television. He quit his job as a security guard in order to teach his daughters.


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Richard Williams broke racial and parent barriers to coach his daughters

In tandem with his duties as a coach, Richard never failed to be a father to his daughters. He did many things to make sure that his daughters didn’t experience the same kind of racism he did.

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Richard played by his own rules and emphasized the value of learning and having fun while growing up, all the while making audacious predictions about his daughters’ future domination after removing them from the junior circuit. Richard had his doubters with his outspoken demeanor and what some saw as a self-promotional bravado as he provided a culture shock to the predominately white tennis elite.

Richard Williams Made Serena Williams and Venus Williams Play With Balls That He Fed to the Dog Says Childhood Coach Rick Macci

After Venus’ Wimbledon win in 2000, Richard celebrated in a way that shocked the British tennis community. He jumped into the broadcasters booth with a sign that boasted his daughter’s victory. There have been prominent African-American tennis players such as Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. However, no one had challenged and changed the game the way Richard did.

Serena Williams’ childhood coach played an important role to make her a legend

Rick Macci was the childhood coach of Serena Williams. He received a call from Richard Williams in 1991, who asked Macci to come to Compton to take a look at his daughters’ game. When Macci looked at the two, he thought that athletics would’ve been a better option for them. However, seeing them play changed his mind.

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To help the two sisters dream big, Macci and Richard used to talk about players like Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova instead of the children they were playing with. Macci added that Venus was not as disciplined as Serena. But the duo always stuck together, despite their on-court rivalry.

Lessons we can learn from the movie ‘King Richard’

The movie ‘King Richard’ showcases everything Richard Williams did in order to make Venus and Serena the great players they became. His perseverance, his confidence and his quick thinking in the movie were shown to be the primary factors that propelled his daughters’ career to great heights. Richard never stopped pitching the two players to the coaches he came in contact with.

The movie also gives a message of how learning should never stop. Oracene and Richard were former athletes, but they learned tennis themselves. Even after their daughters showed great promise, Oracene and Richard never stopped learning tennis to teach new techniques to their daughters. The movie also shows the importance of a proper detailed plan. In the movie, Richard, played by Will Smith, talked about how he made a 78 page plan for his daughters before they were even born.

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Along with that, the movie also teaches one to make the most of what they have. Since Paul Cohen, Venus’ first coach, only agreed to take her, Serena thought her father had chosen Venus over her. However, Richard had not forgotten about her and made sure to record each session of Venus. He would then show those clips to Oracene and she would teach everything in the clips to Serena. He made the best of every situation.

What were some unorthodox methods of coaching Serena Williams got?


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Richard Williams had his fair share of doubters as he coached his daughters. He chose to take Serena and Venus Williams out of the junior circuit. This move confused many and even took their coach, Rick Macci, by surprise.

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Pam Shriver, a commentator, former player and coach, said, “It was very unusual, so [it was] met with skepticism because nobody had really chosen that path before.” Shriver added, “Because they weren’t hung up on results or rankings, they could just develop their game.”


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Watch this story – ‘She Will Struggle’ – Gloomy Prediction on WTA World no.1 Amid Raging Serena Williams’ Comparisons

Richard was confident in his abilities in taking his daughters to the biggest stage in tennis. While many cast doubt on him, he showed everyone the effectiveness of his plan by nurturing probably the greatest sibling duo the sports realm has ever seen.

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba


One take at a time

Ripunjay is a Tennis writer 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.' Ripunjay's love for tennis is evident in the quality of his writing, which is characterized by its clarity, depth, and insightful analysis.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas