Richard Williams

Richard Williams, born in Shreveport, February 16, 1942 is the father and the first coach of the sisters Venus and Serena Williams.

Williams took tennis lessons from a man known as Old Whiskey and decided his future daughters would be tennis professionals after seeing Virginia Ruzici playing on television. Richard said that he wrote up an 85-page plan and started giving lessons to Venus and Serena when they were four and a half, taking them to practice on public tennis courts.

Later he added that he felt he took them too early and age six would have been more suitable. In 1995, Williams withdrew his daughters from a tennis academy and coached them himself. Within a few years, they were winning grand slam tournaments. Serena won the US Open in 1999 and Venus beat Lindsay Davenport to win the 2000 Wimbledon title.

After that victory, Richard shouted Straight Outta Compton!, in reference to a song by NWA based in Compton, California, the same area in Los Angeles where the family once resided. He jumped over the NBC broadcasting booth, catching Chris Evert by surprise and performing a triumphant dance. Evert said that the broadcasters thought the roof was coming down.

In most recent years, Williams has accomplished much and overcome health struggles. A biographical film, King Richard, starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, was released on November 19, 2021, in theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures and streaming on HBO Max.