"Richard wanted unlimited free Disney tickets" - Venus & Serena Williams' ex-coach Rick Macci on what made their father an 'unreal tennis parent'

Rick Macci in awe of Richard Williams
Rick Macci in awe of Richard Williams

Venus and Serena Williams' former coach Rick Macci shared a story from the time when he did a contract with their father Richard Williams and shared what the 82-year-old's demands for his daughters were.

Macci is an American tennis coach and a former tennis player who became the youngest person ever to be inducted into the USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) Hall of Fame in 2017. In his illustrious coaching career, the 69-year-old coached the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Sofia Kenin and Jeniffer Capriati, among many others.

The American coached the Williams sisters from 1991 to 1995 at the Rick Macci Academy in Delray Beach, Florida.

Macci, who loves to share great stories about Richard Williams, took to X (Formerly Twitter) recently to share yet another one of the American's stories. In this tweet, Macci mentioned how when they did the contract, Richard's most important demand was getting unlimited free Disney tickets for his daughters Serena and Venus because he wanted them to be kids first and tennis players second.

He shared this story to illustrate Richards' character as a person, describing him as an "unreal tennis parent," friend, and individual both on and off the court.

"Richard Williams when we did the CONTRACT wanted UNLIMITED FREE DISNEY TICKETS as he wanted his girls to be kids First and tennis players Second. UNREAL TENNIS PARENT. UNREAL FRIEND.UNREAL OUTCOME ON AND OFF THE COURT. @serenawilliams @Venuseswilliams," Macci wrote.

The only time Venus & Serena Williams met at Indian Wells

The Williams sisters at the 2022 US Open
The Williams sisters at the 2022 US Open

Venus and Serena Williams have faced each other 31 times in their careers with the younger sister edging the head-to-head 19-12.

They faced each other for the first time in 1998 in the second round of the Australian Open, which was won by Venus in straight sets. Their last meeting came at the Lexington Challenger in 2020, which was won by Serena.

The Williams sisters were involved in the infamous 2001 Indian Wells controversy when Venus pulled out of the semifinal match against her sister, which led to the crowd booing the Williams family incessantly. They faced each other for the first time in Indian Wells in 2018 in the Round of 32. The meeting was won by Serena Williams comfortably in straight sets.

Venus Williams, who is still active in tennis, unlike her sister, will now play against Nao Hibino in the first round of the 2024 Indian Wells on March 6.

Venus Williams and Father Richard recall one match that 7-time Grand Slam champion "should have won"