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Venus and Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Takes a Trip Down the Memory Lane as He Revisits the Legendary Duo’s ‘Skip and Smile’ Days

Published 09/27/2023, 11:30 AM EDT

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On the cutthroat tennis court, only a few names sparkle as brilliantly as the American stars, Venus and Serena Williams. The legendary duo have ruled the game for a long time and made a permanent imprint on the courts. However, behind their remarkable success story is a coach who played a pivotal role in shaping their early careers, Rick Macci. Macci affectionately recollects their ‘skip and smile’ days.

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It has been nearly 30 years since Macci took Serena and Venus Williams under his wing. At that point, they were budding tennis players with dreams of conquering the sport’s grandest stages. The seasoned coach saw their true ability and trained on a journey that would forever change the landscape of women’s tennis.

Macci recently shared a heartfelt reflection about Venus and Serena Williams ‘skip and smile’ journey to tennis excellence


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Rick Macci’s remarkable tennis training goes beyond the technical parts of the game. The coach understood that to nurture champions, he expected to cultivate their abilities as well as their enthusiasm and character. This comprehensive methodology permitted him to interact with the Williams sisters on a level that rose above the tennis court.

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In a recent reflection on his training process, Macci uncovered the profundity of his security with Venus and Serena Williams. He lovingly thinks about them as his daughters, and the feeling is responded to by the sisters. They have frequently alluded to Macci as a father figure in their lives.


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The image of two young American sisters, holding hands, skirting on the tennis court, and sharing smiles mesmerized fans. It is a picture of unwavering support and camaraderie for their momentous achievement. Macci recently shared on Twitter (now X), “As kids @serenawilliams @Venuswilliams would hold hands, skip and smile more every day.”

The coach also added, “As the Compton Comets both hands would now hold GRAND SLAM TROPHIES still skipping and wouldp Smile even more every day.

Venus and Serena Williams started as children who skipped and grinned. They became two of the best tennis players ever, overwhelming Grand Slam tournaments and motivating many, particularly young kids.

Their rapid ascent and remarkable achievement show their ability, assurance, and the impact of mentors like Macci, who taught them not just skills but also the mindset of champions. Macci continues to be a glad guardian of their initial recollections, a declaration of the wonderful relationship fashioned on the tennis court.


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Macci once shared details about his role in ‘King Richard’ and the reunion with Venus and Serena Williams

The movie ‘King Richard portrays the journey of Richard Williams, who trained his daughters to become two of the greatest tennis players in history. Rick Macci, the girls’ first coach, had also played a significant role in their incredible success. In an exclusive 2021 interview with EssentiallySports, he was asked if he was compensated for his role in the movie, portrayed by Jon Bernthal. Macci had confirmed that everything was resolved satisfactorily. However, the true reward for him was reuniting with Venus and Serena, bringing their story full circle.

At the podcast appearance, he reflected on his time with Venus, Serena, and Richard. Reconnecting with them was a remarkable experience for him. Macci had shared that he cherished the moments when young girls trained under his guidance.


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Macci’s contribution to shaping the careers of Serena and Venus Williams cannot be overstated. To this day, the athletes hold deep admiration for the support and guidance Macci provided during their formative training years.

WATCH THIS STORY | Serena Williams’ Daughter’s Tennis Dreams Gets A Two-word Message Of Backing From The Tennis Legend’s Former Coach

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Written by:

Dr Aditya Raveendran Menon


One take at a time

Aditya Menon is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports, covering several high-profile tournaments and events. With a passion for writing that matches his love for the sport, he has a special interest in covering the activities of tennis legends like Serena Williams and the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis. Aditya’s interest in tennis started at a young age when his father introduced him to the sport.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar