"This girl is bullet-proof" - Rick Macci predicts Ukrainian girl will be future World No.1

Rick Macci has coached Venus and Serena Williams.
Rick Macci has coached Venus and Serena Williams.

Tennis coach Rick Macci has named a 11-year-old Ukrainian girl as one of the best young talents, if not the future World No.1. He believes that the little girl has the mettle and determination to become one of the best in the world.

Macci is a tennis coaching icon. His inventive, unique, and strong on-court philosophy and passion have influenced millions of players and coaches over the last 40 years.

When asked whether there are any under-12 players to keep an eye out for, Macci mentioned a 11-year-old girl from Ukraine. He described her as tenacious and unfaltering.

"I have a lot of good kids, I see a lot of good kids but she’s actually going to be moving here shortly," Rick Macci revealed on a recent episode of The Functional Tennis Podcast. "There’s this little girl from Ukraine. She can’t even go back there for many reasons – death all around; just a brutal situation that you cannot imagine."

Macci disclosed that the girl has already signed with Edge, with whom he is associated.

"But this girl is bullet-proof," he added. "Mentally, she has it. She’s fearless, she appreciates the sunshine in Florida. She’s already signed with the management company I’m with, Edge. Even though she’s 11 years old, I know that’s quite young. We gotta give her an opportunity to go for this. But I’m going to be training her every day and I have no doubt whatsoever."

The 68-year-old dismisses those who do not believe in Sophia, the young girl. His belief that she will be the future World No.1 is unwavering.

"Her first name is Sophia and imma save her last name," he continued. "She’s amazing, she’s little, she’s small. People can’t see it but that’s okay I tell people all the time, but you may see is different than Rick Macci."
"I tell people that all the time. She has what it takes – barring entry. Little Sophia from Ukraine, I know, and I think she can be one of the best players in the world, if not No.1 someday."

It has been almost 30 years since Macci coached Serena and Venus Williams to greatness. However, he does maintain a nice and courteous relationship with the Williams sisters. He has also coached Jennifer Capriati, Andy Roddick, Christian Rudd and Maria Sharapova.

"I was not consulted on the movie" - Rick Macci believes he should have been engaged in production of King Richard film

Venus Williams with Rick Macci and Richard Williams
Venus Williams with Rick Macci and Richard Williams

The film King Richard chronicles how Richard Williams and Rick Macci went to great lengths to train the Williams sisters and turn them into global champions. There is a specific emphasis on the people who assisted the sisters on their journey.

While Rick Macci's role (played by actor Jon Bernthal) was included in the film, the American was dissatisfied that he was not consulted by the producers.

"I didn't know how the movie was gonna go even when I talked to the producers, cause see, I was not consulted on the movie," he said. "I wasn't involved. I should have been, it would have been even better. I got more stories than anybody and no one can tell a story, especially about Venus and Serena."

King Richard was released in November of 2021. Despite earning favorable reviews from critics, it was a box-office failure.

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

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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