After a long hiatus and the desire to try again one last time, Serena Williams is coming to the end of her glorious career as a professional tennis player. The American player ─ who will turn 41 on September 26 ─ announced yesterday that the 2022 US Open will be her "farewell to her", after which it will be time to dedicate herself to her non-tennis life and especially to the her family.
Messages and tributes follow each other on social networks, among which is that of a very special person for Serena and her sister Venus: their former coach Rick Macci, who guided their first steps towards the top of world tennis.
"There was an amazing start and an even better finish," Macci wrote in a short post on Instagram. Several high-level players have gone through the training of Rick Macci and have benefited from his teachings to climb the heights of world tennis.
Andy Roddick, Jennifer Capriati, Maria Sharapova, and of course Serena and Venus Williams. All the tennis players who, with him by his side, have become number 1 in the world. As for the Williams sisters, specifically, Macci had already predicted their brilliant careers, which have earned Serena the conquest of 23 Slam singles titles ─no player, male or female, has yet equaled this record─ and Venus 21 wins , however, adding singles and doubles.
"I think the day will come when both girls can meet in a Grand Slam final," Macci had said years ago in a video he reposted on Instagram. "Richard [his father of his] is very lucky. It's lucky to have one in the family, but he has two."
In the clip you can also hear how Macci, while praising Venus, makes a particular comment about Serena, calling her the best athlete he has ever trained at his academy. "Venus Williams is a great ball hitter. She's very aggressive and we're trying to teach her to use her athletic ability to attack.
On the other hand, Serena is probably the best athlete I've ever had in this academy."
Williams reflected on her loss
Following her defeat, Serena Williams bid a tearful farewell to the Toronto faithful, saying that she's "terrible at goodbyes" as she looked back on her memorable career.
"It's just been so memorable. You know, like I said in my article, I'm terrible at good-byes. But good-bye, Toronto," Williams said. Williams reflected on an 'interesting 24 hours' following her loss to Bencic, wishing she had played better as she congratulated her younger opponent.
"It was a lot of emotions obviously," Williams added. "I love playing here, I've always loved playing here. I wish I could have played better, but Belinda played so well today. It's been an interesting 24 hours."