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EXCLUSIVE: Serena Williams’ Childhood Coach Rick Macci Names Two Aspects in Which ‘King Richard’ Could Have Been Better

Dhruv Rupani

Exclusive: Rick Macci on How Serena Williams and Venus Williams produced King Richard Could Have Been Better

It is no secret that Rick Macci played a pivotal role in the making of Serena Williams and Venus Williams as champion players. The Florida-based tennis coach was covered extensively in the Academy Award-winning film King Richard. The film had the Williams sisters as executive producers.

Macci was immortalised on the 70 mm screen back in November 2021 by actor Jon Bernthal. However, the coach still believes that the film could have portrayed a few things more accurately.

In an exclusive interview with The SportsRush, Rick Macci revealed that he wasn’t consulted by the makers when Bernthal’s role was being conceptualised. So the role was slightly compromised. It portrayed Macci just as someone who was generous and serious. Since the focus was more on the Williams family, the super coach’s point is understandable.

However, Macci did credit Bernthal for researching very well about him otherwise. Bernthal could do so through his best-selling books such as the Billion Dollar Mind, other videos, his style of walking and talking and so on.

With Richard Williams having enough material, the makers and the actor felt they had enough dough on each character. This made the super coach comment that they got ‘everything spot on’.

Rick Macci was quoted as saying about the same –

“When I heard there was a movie coming out, I didn’t realise the magnitude of it. And then I did talk, (but) I wasn’t consulted, believe it or not. If I would’ve, then there would have been more epic, funny stories like no other.

“I did talk a lot to the producer, did talk to the (actor who played him), he read my books, they studied videos, the walk, the talk. I didn’t know I was wired up but they got everything spot on.

“They did a lot of research, which you can see by the credits at the end of the movie how much video Richard had. They had a lot of material to work with and everything was so spot on, you know,” Macci added.

Apart from some stories not making it to the screen, Rick Macci felt that Jon Bernthal did not get his look correct. That is something which he objects to.

“The only thing that was really off? I had a short moustache but the actor had this whole bushy moustache!”

But of course, Rick Macci looked back at the film with fond memories too. He light-heartedly claimed that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for having handled a stubborn father like Richard Williams for 4 years.

Rick Macci on ‘Best Friend’ Richard Williams and ‘Daughters’ Serena and Venus Williams

There have been multiple media reports over the years about the Williams family having a fallout with Rick Macci. It is believed that Macci and Richard had disagreements about the ways they wished to see Serena and Venus grow in their careers during its early stages.

However, to date, Macci calls Richard his ‘best friend’ and kept the interest of the girls and the Williams family first over himself. This is why the celebrated coach calls Serena and Venus his ‘daughters’, effectively rubbishing the rumors.

In the beginning of his association with the Williams family, Macci knew he was taking a risk. This is because he had never coached two sisters simultaneously. He also credited King Richard‘s makers for accurately highlighting this part of the story. Calling the film an ‘inspiring’ one. Macci concluded by stating –

“You know I could’ve been wrong but I wasn’t and to take that risk, I just saw something. It wasn’t just 1, it was 2 and they became like my family.

“Venus and Serena were like my daughters, Richard was my best friend. I tell people I should be in the Hall of Fame just because I dealt with that guy for 4 years! It was brutal at times. But I was in it for the girls.

“What I loved about the movie, they told the true story, they took a chance. It is one thing to say I believe in you, its another to put in hundreds and millions of dollars. The movie was so accurate, inspiring and motivating.”

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Dhruv Rupani

Dhruv Rupani


Dhruv Rupani is a Tennis Editor at The SportsRush. He is a tennis tragic in every sense and would go to any length to defend it against anyone if compared negatively to other sports. A huge Rafael Nadal supporter, Dhruv believes tennis is very much like life in most aspects. He started following the sport at the age of 10. Translating his love for sports into a living, he has over 8 years of experience in the digital media space. He aims to entertain and educate people about sports by presenting the best updates to them. When not covering tennis, Dhruv loves to spend time watching comedy shows and movies, reading inspiring books and doesn't mind trying his hand at cooking sometimes!

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