Former coach Rick Macci has revealed he was not surprised by Serena Williams‘ decision to retire as he insisted the star is ‘going to go out with a bang’ at the US Open
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion has called time on her career, announcing her decision in next month’s Vogue.
Adoring tennis fans took to social media to claim they were emotional after the announcement Tuesday and honored the 40-year-old, describing her as the ‘Greatest Of All Time’.
But Macci, who coached Williams and her sister Venus at the beginning of their careers, claimed he was not shocked by the news.
‘It doesn’t surprise me,’ Macci told TMZ. ‘Listen, she’s doing this on her terms. She has a lot of things going on.
‘I’m just happy for her because she’s making the decision and she’s doing it on her terms.
‘It’s not an injury, she’s not hanging on too long or anything like that, but what I really like it’s gonna end at the US Open. That’s where she won her first Grand Slam and people in New York love it.
‘I think it’s gonna be a must-see TV and knowing Serena, she’s gonna go out with a bang.’
Macci sent a special message to Williams as he said: ‘You’re doing it on your terms. Most of all, you’re happy and that’s the most important thing.’
‘You’ve influenced so many people’s lives, you have no idea. Not just people playing tennis and to me, I think your greatest act is yet to come.’
The US Open is expected to be Williams’ final tournament before she steps away from tennis and her shock announcement sparked an unprecedented demand for tickets earlier this week.
However the reality of her retirement appears to already be hitting her as she struggled to contain her emotions in Toronto following her Canadian Open defeat by Belinda Bencic.
A day after announcing her plan to retire, Serena Williams was beaten in straight sets by her Swiss opponent in the second round as one of the final pages in her remarkable career drew to a close.
Bencic dropped just six games in a 6-2 6-4 victory where Williams showed flashes of her best, but no more. Her opponent stayed composed, refused to let the gravity of the match unsettle her and advances into round three.
Speaking on court afterwards, Williams thanked her fans in Canada for their support across the course of her playing tenure but found it difficult to hold back the tears.
‘Thank you,’ she said, her voice crackling. ‘It was a lot of emotion, I love playing here and always love paying here.
‘I wish I could have played better but Belinda played so well today. It has been an interesting 24 hours.’
Williams told Vogue she did not like the word ‘retirement’ and instead said she was ‘evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me’ such as family and business.
SERENA’S INCREDIBLE SINGLES HONORS LIST
US Open: 6 titles (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Wimbledon: 7 (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)
Australian Open: 7 (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017)
French Open: 3 (2002, 2013, 2015)
Olympic Games: Gold, 2012
319 weeks as World No. 1
Prize money: $94,524,403 (1st in all-time rankings)
Williams not only wants to spend more time with her husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and their five-year-old, Olympia, but the 23-time Grand Slam singles winner is hoping for another child.
‘In the last year, Alexis and I have been trying to have another child, and we recently got some information from my doctor that put my mind at ease and made me feel that whenever we’re ready, we can add to our family,’ Williams wrote. ‘I definitely don’t want to be pregnant again as an athlete. I need to be two feet into tennis or two feet out.’
And then there are Williams’ copious business interests, including her own venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, which raised a reported inaugural fund of $111 million last March. Furthermore, she and sister Venus are both minority owners of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, she’s part owner of a National Women’s Soccer League Team, and she has her own sustainable clothing line, S by Serena.
She was also among the executive producers of King Richard, the award-winning film starring Will Smith as her father, but wouldn’t sign off on the project until she watched the finished product in 2021.
Furthermore, she has her seemingly endless list of endorsement deals: Aston Martin, IBM, Pepsi, Delta Air Lines, Gatorade and Chase Bank to name only a few.