Coach Rick Macci said even at 10 Serena Williams "had all the time in the world" on the court because even at such a young age she had an astonishing anticipation. Before Serena and Venus Williams became tennis greats and icons, they worked with coach Macci, who was famously their childhood coach.
Today, coach Macci is widely recognized as someone who played a major part in the early development of the Williams sisters. But before the tennis world had a chance to see Serena and Venus in action, coach Macci already knew extremely well their abilities and capabilities.
"The two qualities @serenawilliams had at age 10 that nobody could not see was the Daily Double. She had all the time in the world and knew where the ball was going before you hit it. Now throw in blazing speed cat like quickness, a raging inferno inside, and a Compton Cannon as a serve, greatness was in the oven," Macci wrote on X.
The two qualities @serenawilliams had at age 10 that nobody could not see was the Daily Double. She had all the time in the world and knew where the ball was going before you hit it. Now throw in blazing speed cat like quickness a raging inferno inside and a Compton Cannon as a… — Rick Macci (@RickMacci) October 11, 2023
Coach Macci on Serena Williams' anticipation
Just last month, Macci identified one Williams ability that "spelled greatness" - it was knowing what her opponent was about to do.
“Absolutely, I think you know when you say the best athlete, okay, is that from the neck down or from the head down? Or do we describe an athlete. So I think he had the speed, the quickness, the agility, the anticipation.
Remember, Serena knew where you were gonna to hit before you did. That’s what spells greatness at the ultimate level. Listen, I have people who aren’t super quick or super fast but their anticipation skills are unbelievable.
They know where you’re going to hit it just by where the ball lands, how you’re running, the angle of your racket," Macci said on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast last month. Meanwhile, Williams has been retired for over a year now.
After retiring from pro tennis after the 2022 US Open, Williams focused on expanding her businesses and she also recently became a mother for the second time.