Why Venus and Serena Williams’ Father Richard Williams Cannot Speak?

Published 11/21/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Richard Williams with his daughters

On 19th November 2021, the much-anticipated biopic, ‘King Richard’ was released. The movie revolves around the unbelievable journey of Richard Williams as he nurturing two of the greatest female tennis players of all time, Venus and Serena.


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Richard Williams is the father of Venus Williams and Serena Williams. Richard is also an American tennis coach, the man behind the successful careers of Venus and Serena. However, Richard’s health started to deteriorate in the year 2010. Subsequently, in 2016, he suffered a major stroke, leaving a lot of difficulties in speaking. Let’s know everything about Richard Williams’ situation.


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Richard Williams’ health problems

The father of Serena and Venus Williams, Richard Williams, started to train his girls at a very young age. Despite having limited resources, the dedicated father turned the revolution of women’s tennis.

Richard Williams’ health began to decline in the mid-2010s, preventing him from routinely attending his daughters’ events. Richard had a stroke in 2016, which significantly limited his ability to speak.

CARLSBAD, CA – AUGUST 3: Richard Williams, father of Venus Williams, watches as she competes against Anna Chakvetadze of Russia during the Day 5 match of the Acura Classic at the La Costa Resort and Spa August 3, 2007 in Carlsbad, California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

The circumstances became worse for Richard in 2017, when Lakeisha Juanita Graham, his third wife filed a divorce. The court’s records also tell a considerable deal about his current health situation. In 2018, it came out that Richard had two strokes instead of one, gravely injuring his brain.

In February 2020, reports showed up that Richard Williams is suffering from ‘dementia’ as well as ‘brain damage’. Subsequently, he also experienced significant speaking trouble. Williams is currently in the custody of his son Chavoita LeSane, who also has Richard’s power of attorney.

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Richard still shares a relationship with Venus and Serena Williams

Richard maintains a cordial relationship with his daughters and their families, despite his inability to attend their tournaments as a cheerful parent.

Serena Williams posted a sweet video of her father enjoying time with his granddaughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Instagram in November 2021. Even in the midst of adversity, the 79-year-old never fails to be with his daughters, inspiring and encouraging them to this day.


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Just before the launch of the movie, Serena Williams penned down an emotional message for her father. She quoted, ” My dad was an amazing guy — is an amazing guy, I should say — and I think he was way ahead of his time. He’s always thinking on a different level. Even now, he is always thinking five steps above everyone else.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Serena Williams (R) of the USA celebrates with her father Richard Williams after her Ladies’ Singles final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Moreover, she added, ” And the way he taught tennis with techniques, the way he pushed myself and my sister, it was a great opportunity to tell his story. There would be no Venus and Serena if it wasn’t for Richard.” [h/t TheCinemaholic]


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Richard Williams still has a lovely connection with his daughters, Serena and Venus Williams, despite his poor health. In their life, this gentleman is quite significant.


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Atri Bhatt

354 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.