Serena Williams: Former coach claims star can return to world number one

Tennis legend Serena Williams

Rick Macci, the former coach of Serena Williams, has claimed the tennis star can become world number one again.

Williams made her return to tennis in June following a year-long absence, playing in the doubles tournament at the Eastbourne International.

She then accepted a wildcard for the singles tournament at Wimbledon, although she was defeated by Harmony Tan in the first round.

The 40-year-old was recovering from injury for the majority of the year, and many thought she would soon be announcing her retirement.

But Williams has revealed a desire to build on her return to tennis and compete at the US Open, which is set to get underway on August 29th.

Macci, who coached the Williams sisters at the start of their career, told Tennis Infinity that he believed Serena could reach the very top again.

Tennis legend Serena Williams

“This young lady was wired different at ten years old when I saw her,” he said.

“Just the way she’s put together. I know she has other priorities in her life, she’s a mother now. But if she wants to do this, one hundred percent, she can come back.

“And I think she could not only win a Grand Slam, she could be number one if she wanted to – but that’s a question only she can answer.”

Williams has been chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam since she triumphed at the Australian Open in 2017.

Tennis coach Rick Macci

“If she wants to do it, she has to fully commit and get in amazing shape,” Macci said. “You don’t lose the talent, you just lose the fitness.

“Then you get the confidence back once you start playing matches. She just has to dive in and get used to winning and losing.

“She’s probably the best competitor in maybe any women’s sport we’ve ever seen.”

The Williams family moved from Los Angeles to Florida in 1990 so Serena and Venus could attend Macci’s tennis academy.

The 66-year-old was so influential in the sisters’ respective careers that he featured in King Richard, a biographical film released last year.

Macci also helped tennis stars such as Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, and Jennifer Capriati rise to prominence.

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