"Richard Williams always had a Heart of GOLD" - Venus and Serena Williams' ex-coach hails their father's role in their Olympic success

S Shahi
Venus and Serena Williams (L), father Richard Williams (R)
Venus and Serena Williams (L), father Richard Williams (R)

Venus and Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci recently praised their father and mentor Richard Williams for his role in their success in the Olympics.

Richard Williams has consistently stirred controversy within the tennis community due to his unconventional coaching approach, outspoken nature, and confrontations with both the media and authorities. But he also had a heart of gold, according to Macci, the renowned coach who worked with Venus and Serena from 1991 to 1995 at his academy in Florida.

Macci, who has also coached other top players such as Andy Roddick and Sofia Kenin, took to social media on Saturday, February 24, to share his admiration and gratitude for Richard.

"Richard Williams always had a Heart of GOLD. Another life lesson Gold nugget why his Comptons Crushers won GOLD," Macci wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Macci was referring to the Olympic gold medals that Venus and Serena Williams won in singles and doubles. Together, they have won 30 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, and three Olympic gold medals in doubles.

Venus also won a singles gold in 2000 and a mixed doubles silver in 2016. Serena, meanwhile, won the singles gold in 2012.

Venus and Serena Williams' childhood coach previously said their mindset was programmed to become the best players in the world

Serena Williams and Venus Williams at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships
Serena Williams and Venus Williams at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships

Venus and Serena Williams' former coach Rick Macci previously shared insights into the evolution of his relationship with the iconic duo. Macci was featured in the 2021 film King Richard, which showed how their father Richard molded them into tennis legends.

Macci reminisced about meeting Venus and Serena Williams at the film's after-party during an episode on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast.

"It's amazing. You gotta remember. When they were nine to 15, they were looking at the game through a different lens, through Richard's eyes or Oracene's eyes or Rick Macci's eyes, and they were little kids. So, when we reunited at the afterparty, it was incredible simply because we went down the memory lane," he said.
"I literally had Serena on the ground crying, their stories. She was a handful, she was a little prankster. Even though she will go down as the greatest female tennis player ever to hold a racquet, you gotta understand. And some of these stories, I have done so many podcasts since the movie. I told them people are just blown away," he added.

Macci added that the Williams sisters confessed to him that their father "brainwashed" them to be the best players in the world.

"They both said 'Rick, we were literally brainwashed to become No. 1' and that maybe can work if you have the speed, the quickness and the right coaching but I never talked to either of them and we talked about this even when they were 10 and 11 and Serena was not really that good," the veteran coach said.

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