In the latest episode of the "The GOAT: Serena" podcast, hosts Chanda Rubin and Zina Garrison spoke to American broadcaster Robin Roberts, former pro Mary Joe Fernandez and famed tennis coach Rick Macci about the outstanding career of Serena Williams.
Robin Roberts, who is widely recognized for being a skilled television anchor and reporter, expressed gratitude for having got the opportunity to watch Serena Williams play. Robert claimed she is happy that she came from a generation that was able to witness the greatness of Williams.
"I was so grateful that I had the opportunity to witness somebody like Serena," Robin Roberts said. "You know I would hear my mom and dad talk about Joe Louis and other athletes. But we can say 'Oh we were around with Serena Williams. We witnessed that kind of greatness'."
Meanwhile Mary Joe Fernandez, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, opined that Serena Williams played her best tennis at the 2012 London Olympics. Fernandez asserted that Williams was "unstoppable" during that run, where she didn't drop a single set en route to the gold medal.
"That memory of the 2012 Olympics, I feel like it's the best tennis I have ever seen her play," Mary Joe Fernandez said. "She was crushing it, dominating it. In the semis, final she beat Azarenka, Sharapova. It was just unstoppable; there was nothing anybody could do. She was so good she was in the zone. So it was fun to be a part of, to watch that kind of brilliance."
"I told Richard 'You got the next Michael Jordan on your hands' and he goes 'No brother man, I got the next two" - Rick Macci on Venus and Serena Williams
Veteran tennis coach Rick Macci was also amongst the high-profile line-up for the podcast. Macci has coached several top players over the years, including the Williams sisters, who trained at his tennis academy in Florida as children.
The 66-year-old talked about the time in 1991 when he first met the sisters at a country club in Compton. Macci recalled that he didn't find anything special in their game for the first hour they spent on the court, but that he changed his mind when they started playing competitively.
The American then went on to compare Venus and Serena Williams with the iconic Michael Jordan.
"You know what they called Richard? King Richard," Rick Macci said. "And they called Serena 'Jameka', that's her middle name. The first hour we were on court I said, 'They aren't any better or any worse than the kids I've seen,' until we started doing competitive stuff. And then the whole thing just blew up."
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"But when they started competing and I saw the way they moved and tried, I knew the other stuff could be top," he added. "And I told Richard 'You got the next Michael Jordan on your hands.' And he puts his arm around me and goes, 'No brother man, I got the next two'."