Share this article

“Wanted Her to Fail”: 29 Years After Orchestrating Venus Williams’ Debut, Her Childhood Coach Remembers the Overwhelming Negativity

Published 10/16/2023, 12:42 PM EDT

Follow Us

via Reuters

Richard Williams is one of the biggest reasons Serena Williams and Venus Williams became some of the greatest players of the WTA. Richard, along with their childhood coach, Rick Macci, took them to new heights. Now, Macci shares tidbits of their time together. Recently, he talked about people’s negative outlook on them when they were new on the circuit.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Macci has shared their experiences together, and some of the techniques Richard used to improve his daughters. He was happy to see them lose points, which would fire them up even more. His methods were unorthodox, and Macci uncovered them.

Childhood coach on the overwhelming negativity during Venus Williams’ matches


Article continues below this ad

When Macci decided to take on the Williams sisters, they were just children. He led them into their teenage years, and they built their foundation with him. While Macci was smitten with their dedication, others on the circuit did not feel the same. Recently, Macci dived into Venus Williams’s perception when she started playing on the senior tour. 

Richard was a rebel. And this was new. I kinda liked it. Because a lot of people didn’t like him. And I probably wasn’t as much the flavor of the month because I endorsed it. Even when I took her to make her (Venus) debut in 1994 in Oakland, California, everybody wanted this little girl to fail. It was crazy. The media wanted her to fail.”


Get instantly notified of the hottest Tennis stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

The negative outlook the tennis world had of them would be quite deterring to any other player. However, it only proved to fire the two sisters further, and they now have tens of grand slams. Richard had unorthodox ideas and methods, which made him a rebel. Macci shared a phenomenon that made Richard happy as a coach.


Article continues below this ad

The effect of the Compton rage

When a player loses a point, it can disrupt their focus. But some players only get more fired up. The Williams sisters belonged to this criteria. When they were younger and losing in practice matches, Venus and Serena would be filled with immensely focused rage. This would push them forward and help them improve.


Article continues below this ad

Macci called this phenomenon the ‘Compton Rage’ and, as per the star-studded coach, it was often a favorite sight of Richard. He would love to see his daughters lose and become even more passionate about winning. King Richard was not the usual coach on tour and would implement many out-of-the-box ideas. While many initially disagreed with them, they are now eating their words.

Watch This Story – ”Serena Was a Prankster” – Legendary Coach Rick Macci Reveals How Serena Williams as a Kid Was Different Than Venus Williams 

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



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.
Show More>

Edited by:

Gokul Pillai