Venus Williams' childhood coach, Rick Macci, is expecting the American veteran to retire from the sport at the US Open this year.
With younger sister Serena Williams walking away from the sport at the US Open last year, speculation has been rife about Venus' tennis future. Her childhood coach Macci has predicted that Venus will retire at the New York Major later this year, with her sister by her side.
The 68-year-old Macci discussed his bond with the older Williams sister and stated that he expects the Williams sisters to contest the women's doubles before Venus' retirement.
"I think it's difficult for Venus Williams. When I had Venus and Serena, it was more about Venus. Because she was older as you saw in the King Richard movie. Venus was really, really like my daughter and we had an amazing bond," he told Tennis-Infinity.
Macci then gave his prediction that Venus Williams would retire after this year's US Open, accompanied by her sister.
"In my opinion, and I don't have any insight, I think she'll retire at the US Open," he added. "I think that she'll play doubles with Serena. And I think they're going to exit the stage left at the US Open."
The USPTA Hall of Famer believes that injuries have made it difficult for Venus to continue playing singles.
"I have no insight. I'm just going on my gut. Because I think with injuries and she hurt her hip in the last tournament, it's hard with the injuries. And I think she knows she's not going to win the tournament," he said.
The American tennis coach further opined that while Serena and Venus might find it difficult to play singles now, they could still be very competitive in doubles.
"But obviously if she still plays. It's good for the name. It's good for the brand. She has a platform. I get all that stuff, but I think she could still play doubles with Serena, and believe it or not, I think they could still win tournaments," he said.
Venus Williams starts training for first time since ASB Classic injury, teases claycourt return
Venus Williams has battled multiple injuries in the recent past. She spent almost 12 months on the sidelines after her last singles match of the 2021 season.
Williams made a comeback at the Citi Open in August 2022 and later participated in the Canadian Open, the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open. However, she faced first-round exits on all four occasions, ending the season with a 0-4 win-loss record.
The 42-year-old started her campaign this year with a 7-6(4), 6-2 win over compatriot Katie Volynets at the ASB Classic, before losing 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 to China's Lin Zhu in the second round.
During the match against Zhu, which was frequently interrupted by rain, Williams picked up a hamstring injury which forced her to miss the Australian Open.
Williams took to social media last month to provide an update on her fitness, posting a photo of herself and stating that she had resumed training.
In an interaction with fans on the same social media platform, she also said that she was planning to return to action in the claycourt season.
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