King Richard is coming to national television, where he’s to make his U.S. Tennis Association Hall of Fame debut Sunday night in his home town of Oakville, Ontario.
Richard Williams arrives in New York on Saturday night and has a busy schedule. The big man, the elegant 80-year-old, will be introduced during a live edition of HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” and does a show on the ESPN channels’ sports operation as well. The world of tennis will have to be civil during these chats.
Richard Williams will continue to work on his book “Life Lessons From My Father,” which is scheduled for publication by the end of August and has already become a New York Times bestseller.
As this world was coming to terms with Serena Williams’ Wimbledon triumph, her dad was having a master class in reporting on everything from Olympics to Wimbledon, finding a strange path through the stirrings of a media frenzy to a whirlwind arrival in the lives of his two daughters on the world stage.
“I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut, keep my head down and keep my mouth shut,” he said to a small gathering of sports journalists and celebrities, most of whom were drawn to an Internet site known as the ‘Applause Page.’ “It doesn’t bother me, but my wife (Martha Ann Williams) has a problem with that.”
After arriving in the boro de Gotham, Richard accompanied Venus to an early morning interview with David Letterman.
Venus beat Madison Keys, 6-2, 6-4 in the U.S. Open qualifying tournament. Williams said she will move to New York Sunday to work out with Maria Sharapova, who opens the US Open Monday against American wild card Victoria Duval.
Richard Williams’ interactions with the media have been kept secret from his daughters. A few news organizations in Australia, where Venus is training, had a fair understanding of what was to occur, and relayed information to the media here in Australia where his nieces are trying to rise through the ranks of women’s tennis.
Williams addressed the issue of sexism in tennis on Twitter and, in an interview, attributed some of it to the way the game is played and played by grown men. Tennis works in mysterious ways.
Williams responded to intense interest in a fast-growing online cult following, with a cosmopolitan tone in his tweets: “I try to use my business degree and not my tennis doctoring (sic) in order to blend into the culture.”