September 26, 2022
Serena Williams salutes the gang after her US Open exit on Friday

The departure of Serena Williams from tennis will go away a void within the sport which will by no means be utterly crammed, in accordance with the coach who performed a pivotal position in nurturing her expertise greater than 30 years in the past.

The 40-year-old 23-time Grand Slam champion bowed out of the US Open on Friday in what’s broadly anticipated to be the ultimate singles match of her 27-year skilled profession.

For Rick Macci, the Florida-based teaching guru who oversaw the event of Williams and sister Venus within the early Nineties, Williams leaves a legacy that can by no means be overwhelmed.

In the long run, Serena fell simply wanting matching Margaret Court docket’s all-time mark of 24 Grand Slam titles.

However for Macci, the totality of his former protege’s achievements, on and off the court docket, represents a extra basic and lasting legacy than a mere tally of titles received.

“She’s the best feminine tennis participant ever to carry a racquet, and the best feminine athlete that we have seen,” Macci instructed AFP.

“I inform different individuals she ought to go on Mount Rushmore not simply due to the scale, the pace, the quickness, the agility, one of the best serve ever, the flexibility to dominate you.

“No, she needs to be on the Mount Rushmore as a result of if you performed Serena she actually made all people ‘rush extra’.”

Macci believes Williams’ array of technical skills and bodily strengths, allied to her exceptional longevity and an indomitable spirit honed by her upbringing in Compton, made her distinctive.

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“You are by no means going to see a participant like Serena Williams once more,” mentioned the 67-year-old.

“She checks each field – dimension, pace, quickness, power, agility. She had muscle tissues on muscle tissues even at aged 9.

“Technically she hits the ball very clear. We moulded one of the best serve within the historical past of tennis. However on the finish of the day it is that Compton road struggle.

“Serena was like a pit bull. When she received a maintain of you she would not let go. And that is an incredible high quality. She has no weaknesses.”

Along with Williams’ 23 singles Grand Slams — a part of an general haul of 73 titles — she additionally added 14 doubles titles with sister Venus and 4 Olympic gold medals.

Macci, who has additionally coached world quantity ones Andy Roddick, Jennifer Capriati and Maria Sharapova in a Corridor-of-Fame profession, believes Williams may simply have received extra titles.

“She did not play all of the Grand Slams. She was injured. She had a toddler. She may have had 30 Grand Slams.

“Nevertheless it’s not even concerning the numbers. They simply type of mesmerize you if you hear all of them. She may do all of it. She’s the mentally strongest feminine athlete that we have ever seen.”

Williams departs the stage at a time when there is no such thing as a apparent successor within the girls’s sport. Macci mentioned the shock retirement of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty, and the inconsistent type of Naomi Osaka, mirrored a sport in a state of flux.

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“There shall be a little bit little bit of a void,” Macci mentioned. “It is going to take time to create rivalries, and that is why girls’s tennis proper now may be very fluid.

“For somebody to be the face and dominate like Serena — you are by no means going to see that once more.

“Overlook the numbers, the numbers are off the charts. And that is one factor. However you are by no means going to see somebody who has influenced so many individuals world wide.”

Macci does imagine, nonetheless, there’s a sturdy likelihood Williams will proceed to grace the doubles court docket alongside sister Venus.

“I may see her and Venus enjoying doubles two or three years,” he mentioned.

“You solely cowl half the court docket. They’ve each received good serves. Their return of serve is brutal. I may see them nonetheless enjoying doubles and combined doubles. Nothing would shock me.

“I do not suppose we have heard the final of both of the sisters.”

A renaissance of the Williams sisters doubles partnership would supply a satisfying bookend to their careers for Macci, who first noticed the siblings play on a rundown court docket in Compton 31 years in the past.

“At age 9, Venus and Serena have been skipping and holding arms,” he mentioned.

“And even now of their 40s they’re nonetheless skipping and holding arms. Two peas in a pod – like no different.”

Serena Williams showcases her blend of power and technique at the US Open
Serena Williams showcases her mix of energy and method on the US Open
Former coach Rick Macci believes Serena and Venus Williams will continue to play doubles together after their singles careers are over
Former coach Rick Macci believes Serena and Venus Williams will proceed to play doubles collectively after their singles careers are over

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