Not the end for Venus & Serena Williams, they will continue to play doubles for 2-3 years: childhood coach Rick Macci

Is the US Open the end of Serena Williams’s tennis career? She announced her retirement three weeks back and has been in farewell mode since.

But her childhood coach Rick Macci, who coached Venus and Serena from the age of 10 and 9, funded their developmental years, and is a father figure to them, says the sisters will continue to play doubles for another two years at least. Macci’s relationship with the family was honoured with a character in the movie King Richard, the Will Smith starrer based on the Williams sisters’ father Richard.

“Serena’s is a great story. It all started in the US Open for her and it’s going to end here. She announced her retirement three weeks ago and is savouring it,” Macci told The Indian Express. “But I believe it’s just from singles!”

“But this is not going to be the end for her and Venus. I think they will play doubles for the next 2-3 years. You are just going to cover half the court. Serve, they got. Return, they got. The shots, they got. They are going to be serious contenders. I think they will play doubles. The public love them. They got this amazing brand, and what better way than to continue to change lives and play tennis? I think we shall see them play doubles, and possibly mixed doubles.”

Macci says he isn’t surprised that Serena chose to retire but thinks it’s only from singles. “I am not surprised Serena chose to retire. She has been injured and hasn’t played that many matches in the last couple of years. She is not someone to just play for playing sake. She likes to win.

“And she is 41, and has played for so long already. Her next act would be even greater. She would inspire people not just from the African-American community but people from all walks of life. If I can do it, from where I came from, so can you. I wasn’t at the front row, I wasn’t even at the back row, I was not even in the building. Look where I came from. If I can do it, you can do it. What a story to inspire people.”

Macci hailed the legacy of Serena. “In my mind, she is going to go down as the best female tennis player ever, and in my book, the best female athlete ever and she is going to be on Mount Rushmore. She is like a PitBull; the bigger the moment, she got better.

“I saw how she was wired at a young age but to go on to win 23 Grand slams, 6 US Opens, 6 Australian Opens, 3 French, 14 Grand Slam in doubles with Venus; they never lost, and four (Olympic) gold medals. They could have 50 grand slam doubles, 50 mixed doubles but hey, they had to eat and sleep. You just can’t keep playing! But I do believe now both sisters will play doubles.”

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