Childhood coach reveals what he was telling people about Venus Williams in 1991

Coach Rick Macci coached Williams for four years in her childhood.

by Dzevad Mesic
Childhood coach reveals what he was telling people about Venus Williams in 1991
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Coach Rick Macci claims he was telling people in 1991 that Venus Williams would win at least five Wimbledon titles. Macci, who coached Williams for four years in her childhood, instantly realized the American's potential on grass.

In 2000, Williams became a Grand Slam champion at the age of 20 after beating Martina Hingis in the Wimbledon final. The following year, Williams successfully defended her title at The Championships. Williams won Wimbledon again in 2005, before collecting her fourth and fifth Wimbledon titles in 2007 and 2008.

Williams also has four lost finals at The All England Club - her last Wimbledon final came in 2017, when she was beaten by Garbine Muguruza. "And also at Wimbledon, she has grabbed five of them. You want to hear something crazy.

I was at my office in 1991, I told Angela Buxton, 'this little girl win five Wimbledon someday.' Me and Venus used to practice two hours a day on grass to shorten the batswing, take it early, make a great volley spectacular, a good volley great, a bad volley good.

So I did it as a development tool," Macci said on the Match Point Canada podcast, via Sportskeeda.

Macci: Everybody loves Williams, she'll retire when she wants to

Williams, 43, had a very rough and challenging 2023 season in terms of injuries.

Williams last played at the US Open, where Greet Minnen handed her a 6-1 6-1 defeat in the first round. After Williams' US Open demolition, some started calling for the seven-time Grand Slam champion to retire. "As you know any athlete when they get to the fourth quarter of the back nine, it's hard to hang it up.

Football, baseball, hockey, you know, when your skills maybe diminish a little bit. But, it's their decision. You can't listen to say, you are not as quick as you were. Not as fast, whatever. That time will come. She loves to play.

It's a must-see TV. Everybody loves V. She is gonna do it when she wants to," Macci said.

Venus Williams Rick Macci