Serena Williams’ father ‘King Richard’ reveals he called and begged her for more heroics after her last match

Serena Williams’ dad “King Richard” says he called her to beg for more tournaments after her last match, so she will officially be “the greatest ever,” US Sun EXCLUSIVELY reveals.

Former trainer King Richard, 80, who has coached Serena and her sister Venus since childhood, didn’t think she should hang up her racket at this point in her career.

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Serena’s father, Richard Williams, told The US Sun that he wanted her to continue playing and even pleaded with her late last yearCredit: John Chapple for the US Sun
Someone's mom told him it was time for her to leave the game, which was a tough decision

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Someone’s mom told him it was time for her to leave the game, which was a tough decisionCredit: EPA
Richard Williams, center, with his daughters Venus, left, and Serena, in 1991 in Compton, California

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Richard Williams, center, with his daughters Venus, left, and Serena, in 1991 in Compton, CaliforniaCredit: Getty

Tennis icon Serena announced in August that she was stepping away from the sport to focus on other business endeavors, and expanding her young family.

The 41-year-old, who already has a five-year-old daughter, Olympia, with husband Alexis Ohanian, wrote a touching cover story for US VOGUE about her difficult decision to step down.

“There are people who say I’m not the goat because I haven’t achieved Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, which she did before the ‘Open Era’ that began in 1968,” she wrote in the animated clip.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day in and day out, I don’t really think about her.”

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Serena played the final match of her professional career in September on Arthur Ashe Court in New York City during the US Open.

Although she lost to Australian player Ajla Tomljanović, the game was the most watched in ESPN history with an average of 4.2 million viewers.

Her father, Richard, who has had multiple strokes and sometimes has communication problems as a result, gave a rare interview to The US Sun this month.

Sitting next to his son Chavoeta Lisan in their Florida home, he said he was incredibly proud of both of his daughters, and knew Serena’s career was nearing its end.

Although he’s reluctant to talk about them now that they’re household names, he did reveal that he wants Serena to hit the courtroom number and possibly even crash it.

Mother’s dreams

“I wanted her to play at least two more tournaments,” Richard, who has been described as a “hot and controversial figure” in the tennis world, told The US Sun. She said no, she wouldn’t.

I asked Serena maybe six weeks ago, maybe two months ago, probably. But she’s done a lot, she has a lot of other businesses and she’s very successful.

“Her child [Olympia] unbelievable. She already speaks English and French very well… This kid is doing very well,” he said, adding that he hopes to be a serious again soon and now supports Serena’s decision.

He added, “I said, ‘Why don’t you play?'” She said, “I can. I think I can win, but I can’t do that anymore. Yeah, I won’t do that anymore.”

Richard said she is “very happy” despite her decision and is “an amazing mother”, remaining humble despite her wealth and raising her daughter well.

The superstar and her famous sister have a number of other businesses that they run, with Serena starting a venture capital firm in recent years.

I was proud of them even before they were born.”

Richard Williams on his daughters Serena and Venus.

She admitted in her VOGUE article that she’s been grappling with the idea of ​​quitting tennis for some time, saying, “I’ve been hesitant to admit I had to move on from playing tennis. It’s like a taboo subject.”

“It came up, and I started crying. I think the only person I really went with was my therapist.”

She also talked about becoming a mother again, revealing that her daughter, Olympia, told her that all she wanted when she was older was a “big sister.”

Olympia says this a lot, even when she knows I’m listening. Sometimes before bed she prays to Jehovah to get her a little sister. [She doesn’t want anything to do with a boy!]

“I am the youngest of five sisters, and my sisters are my heroes, so I felt like this was a moment that I had to listen to very carefully.”

“I was proud of them even before they were born,” laughs her father, Richard, who devised a plan to turn them into tennis greats, even writing a 78-page manifesto outlining a blueprint for success.

But Richard says that if they were ever welcomed into the world in 2023, he wouldn’t want them to play tennis at all.

“I wanted them to make money from tennis, but it’s a completely different world today, I’m going to get them to focus on business like they have now, it’s extraordinary,” he said.

Venus future

His son Chavoeta explained: “I think what he means is, he sees life very differently. He realized in tennis there is a ceiling, and the ceiling is here.” [tournament wins].

“But when you’re in business, there’s no ceiling, some business. The sky’s the limit.”

Asked what the girls would have done if they hadn’t played tennis, Richard revealed, “Serena wanted to be an animal doctor, and I think Venus wanted to be an engineer.”

Venus, 42, recently withdrew from the Australian Open due to injury, and there have been whispers she too may be ready to retire in the coming months.

Her father believes that she is more passionate about playing tennis than settling down at the moment, but she might as well quit and focus on other projects.

When asked if he thought she would start a family of her own, he said, “I don’t think so, I really don’t. She really loves kids, but I don’t think she’s going to have kids.” [And] I think she can quit [tennis] very soon.”

Venus has had a number of health problems throughout her career, including being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome – a rare autoimmune disease, which can cause joint pain, numbness, and swelling.

She owns her own fashion brand and has also hinted that she might follow in her father’s and tennis coach’s footsteps, which he agrees to.

The success of the film

She recently said, “I love learning, and I love teaching. Believe it or not, I love teaching junior tennis.”

“I love that moment when people’s eyes light up, and they think, ‘Oh, I get it now! “You just have to be loved.”

In this Hollywood biopic, starring Will Smith as Williams, King Richard tells the story of Serena and Venus through the eyes of their father – and how he encouraged them to succeed.

Will won Best Actor at the 2022 Academy Awards for his portrayal of the no-nonsense Richard, who was thrilled with the film after initially expressing concern that he might be a villain in the film.

His son described his father as “phenomenal” and said that although he is not a big fan of tennis and does not watch matches, he can appreciate what his father did in a match.

“When I look at his accomplishments as a father, a tennis coach, a tennis manager, being coached by a guy called Old Whiskey, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s amazing.”

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“I think my dad went too far in tennis, even though he got a lot of criticism, even though I never really cared about criticism.

“It’s amazing to look at what Venus and Serena have achieved, especially with them being African Americans, and having to jump over so many obstacles.”

Serena Williams with her husband, Alexis Ohanian, and their little daughter, Olympia, of five

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Serena Williams with her husband, Alexis Ohanian, and their little daughter, Olympia, of fiveCredit: Instagram/alexisohanian
The star seen after defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during the second round of the US Open in 2022

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The star seen after defeating Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during the second round of the US Open in 2022Credit: A.P
Her father, Richard Williams, now supports her decision to quit the game and focus on her other businesses and her young family

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Her father, Richard Williams, now supports her decision to quit the game and focus on her other businesses and her young familyCredit: John Chapple for the US Sun

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