Rick Macci, Venus and Serena Williams' childhood coach, credits the success the pair have enjoyed on the doubles circuit to their resolve and determination.
The Williams sisters may be more renowned as singles players, having won 30 Grand Slam titles between them. But they are just as threatening on the doubles circuit, winning 14 Majors and three Olympic gold medals together. In fact, the duo are unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
In a video he uploaded to his official YouTube Channel, Macci revealed a story from Venus and Serena Williams' childhood to showcase the fighting spirit the sisters possess. He recalled an exhibition match as part of the Family Circle Cup (now called the Charleston Open) where they took on Billie Jean King and Rosemary Casals in front of a 5000-strong crowd.
For reference, King and Casals are considered one of the greatest doubles teams in the history of tennis. The duo have won five Wimbledon titles and two US Open titles in addition to finishing runners-up at seven Majors.
He disclosed that Venus Williams, not used to the doubles style of play, employed an aggressive return position that is more common in singles -- standing closer to the service line instead of the baseline. But that was the manner in which they were trained, in order to be as intimidating as possible to opponents.
"Serena and Venus Williams were invited for an exhibition tournament [at the Family Circle Cup] against the great Billie Jean King and the great Rosie Casals - one of the greatest doubles teams of all time," Macci said. "Venus was ready to return serve but she was standing closer to the service line than the baseline. They were trained that way -- to take the ball early, seek and destroy and get in your face. They do not [usually] play doubles, but they know how to fight."
Macci compared the match to a "street fight" and referred to Venus and Serena Williams as "little warriors" who did not care about the reputation of the opponents they were squaring off against.
"It was like a Compton street fight. Two little warriors running all over the place, smacking balls at Billie Jean and Rosie. People were freaking out at how aggressive Venus and Serena Williams were," Macci said. "Two little, wild animals and they didn't care who they were playing against."
The 67-year-old was proud of how the crowd were taken aback by the intensity his proteges displayed on the tennis court. He opined that the spectators were in awe of the sisters' commitment to fight as hard as they could with their fearless style of play.
When the match ended, everyone was blown away by the intensity, the enthusiasm and their commitment," Macci said. "There was just no fear in these little kids."
Venus and Serena Williams have more than 20 doubles titles on the WTA tour
Venus and Serena Williams' dominance on the doubles circuit can be measured by the fact that they have more than 20 doubles titles to their name as a pair. Venus Williams has 22 titles, while her younger sister has 23.
The only doubles title Serena Williams won without her sister was the 2002 Sparkassen Cup, where she partnered with compatriot Alexandra Stevenson. The 40-year-old also competed with Caroline Wozniacki at the 2020 Auckland Open, where they finished as runners-up.