Childhood coach guesses how far Venus Williams would've gone if there wasn't Serena

Coach Rick Macci reflects on working with the Williams sisters and they going on to achieve massive tennis success.

by Dzevad Mesic
Childhood coach guesses how far Venus Williams would've gone if there wasn't Serena
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Coach Rick Macci believes Venus Williams could have easily gotten to 15-20 Grand Slams if there weren't Serena Williams and that maybe now she would have been in the conversation for the greatest tennis player of all time. 

Before the whole world knew about the Williams sisters, Macci was their childhood coach and the one who is widely praised for their early development. When the Williams sisters started working with Macci around the age of 10-11, it didn't take long before the word spread out that Macci was working with two generational talents. 

When the Williams sisters started their careers, it didn't take long before they started to achieve massive success - Venus won her first Grand Slam title at 2000 Wimbledon just days after turning 20, while Serena was 17 when her first Slam win came at the 1999 US Open.

Shortly after winning her first Slam, Venus quickly got to four Majors after also winning the 2000 US Open and then defending her Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2001. Then between 2002 and 2003, Venus made five more Grand Slam finals and lost to her sister Serena in each of those finals. A couple of years later, Venus beat Serena in the 2008 Wimbledon final but again lost to her sister in the 2009 Wimbledon final and 2017 Australian Open final, respectively. 

Serena, 42, finished with 23 Grand Slams and is the second on the all-time Grand Slam record list while 43-year-old Venus has seven Majors. Venus maybe hasn't won as many Slams as Serena but still she has managed to beat her sister 12 times in their 31 meetings and she is the player with the most wins against the former 23-time Grand Slam champion.

"I love VW [Venus Williams]. Both her and Serena [Williams] were like my own daughters," Macci told Sportskeeda.

"Serena is definitely the GOAT, but we gotta remember, in 31 matches, Serena won 19 and Venus won 12. No one has beaten the greatest player of all time more than Venus Williams. 100% if there was no Serena, who knows Venus could be sitting there with 15-20 Grand Slams."

Venus Williams and Serena Williams
Venus Williams and Serena Williams © Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse

Macci: After Serena Williams, Venus Williams is the second-greatest player 

With seven Grand Slams, Venus Williams is far away from Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slams. Also, a total of 11 players have won more than seven Grand Slams in singles. Still, Macci is making an argument for Venus to be considered the second greatest player in tennis history, just after her sister Serena. 

"I think Venus [Williams], for sure, is one of the top-5 players ever on the female side to hold a racket. I would go as far, not because I coached her, I think she is the second greatest player of all time even though she doesn't have all those Grand Slam titles," Macci claimed.

"I remember she was 14-0 in doubles, playing with Serena. So, with no Venus, there might not be a Serena. Without Serena, there's no Venus."

Venus Williams
Venus Williams © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Macci fears some have forgotten how peak Venus Williams looked 

Between 2000 and 2003, Venus Williams made a total of nine Grand Slam finals and that was undoubtedly a very impressive feat. After the 2003 season, Williams slowed a bit but she has still managed to make six Grand Slam finals since. Also, Williams - now 43 years old - was able to remain a strong force in her mid-30s, making Grand Slam finals at the 2017 Australian Open and Wimbledon. 

Unfortunately for Williams, she has battled numerous injury issues and setbacks in recent years, which caused her not to play much and lose often. After going 3-7 last year, Williams is 0-2 this year after losing to Noa Hibino in Indian Wells and Diana Shnaider in Miami, respectively. 

"People kind of forget, because she is still playing, how good Venus was. Unbelievable," Macci said.

"In my opinion, she changed the whole landscape of women's tennis. She brought quicker, stronger, faster, more agile, mobile athlete in tennis. Now you see that it's pretty common. But 100%, she would have won so many more Grand Slams, but you can't look in the rearview mirror."

Venus Williams
Venus Williams © Getty Images Sport - Jamie Squire

During the interview, Macci also made one interesting statement as he suggested that there was something Williams didn't want to listen to. Had that been the case, Macci thinks maybe she would have gone to have more success than her sister Serena. 

"I think if she would have stuck with the game plan that I had at age 14, who knows she might even have been better than Serena because she came to the net in her debut 33 times back in 1994 when she got on the tour," Macci said.

Venus Williams Rick Macci