Paul Cohen: Serena & Venus Williams’ Coach Now Conducts Video Sessions

Although Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams’ father, is broadly recognized as the coach behind the sisters’ impressive tennis careers, a number of other people, including the women’s mother, Oracene Price, also contributed significantly to their training. Paul Cohen, a known legendary trainer in the tennis world, was one such coach that Venus and Serena trained under before making the shift to Rick Macci’s Academy to train under his tutelage.

In the film, ‘King Richard,’ Tony Goldwyn portrays Paul Cohen’s on-screen persona as the narrative charts Cohen’s contribution to the early training days of the renowned tennis athlete sisters. Consequently, as the film highlights Paul Cohen’s involvement in Venus and Serena Williams’ career, the audience is bound to become intrigued by the man’s real life and wonder what he’s up to these days.

Who is Paul Cohen?

Paul Cohen remains an easily recognizable name among competitive tennis social circles. The man started out in the sport with his own career as a player and made a name for himself as a leading Junior player from America. He played numerous tournaments and championships in his time as an athlete, including the US National Junior Championships and NCAA championships. Eventually, the man retired from the court as a player and took up tennis coaching. John McEnroe and Michael Chang remain some of Cohen’s most notable students after Venus and Serena Williams.

As depicted in the film, Cohen became the Williams sisters’ coach after their fathers, Richard, reached out to him— back when he was based in LA. At the time, Venus and Serena were only seven and six years old and had already exhibited impressive skill and talent as a result of consistent training. According to records, after Cohen first played with the girls, he said, “I had never seen a 6-year-old as strong as Serena, and I’d never seen a potential woman champion as athletic and as graceful as Venus.”

Consequently, Cohen agreed to coach the Williams sisters. “With Venus and Serena, we not only built their game to be perfect, we built them with the purpose of annihilating their opponents,” he said, as per Bleach Report records. Even though Cohen and Richard often disagreed on their approach to the sisters’ training, the former respected the latter’s inclination toward protection and advocacy for his daughters. Eventually, Rick Macci displaced Cohen as Venus and Serena’s professional coach, marking the latter’s exit from the girls’ lives.

Where is Paul Cohen Now?

Apart from tennis, Paul Cohen has also gained several achievements in the sport of arm wrestling. With a 45-year-long career, the man has participated in elite competitions — going head-to-head against world-class arm wrestlers. Furthermore, Cohen’s participation in the sport also extends to fulfilling the roles of Head Referee and coach of National and World Champions. He also holds a world record as the oldest arm wrestler competitor to compete in an open World Arm Wrestling Championship. Thus, the multi-talented athlete has pursued his passions in several corners of the sports world.

Paul Cohen// Image Credit: Paul Cohen’s Connected Tennis

Moreover, Cohen made some waves outside of his athletic abilities after founding the Cohen Independent Research Group in 1997 under a different name. The company has made Cohen one of the pioneers of Wall Street independent research. Alternatively, outside of his professional endeavors, Cohen still manages to remain tied up in the world of tennis through his momentary involvement in the development of ‘King Richard.’ After landing the role of Paul Cohen in the film, Actor Tony Goldwyn reached out to the real-life inspiration behind his on-screen character to ask the former tennis player for some advice.

As such, Cohen ended up sharing extensive details about his approach to coaching, his working relationship with the Williams family, and even technical details about the sport. Goldwyn discussed the same in an interview with Slash Film, where he divulged, “I reached out to Paul when I got the part, and I was researching him— and about what you were talking about. I saw there was an email address. And so I wrote to him and said, I’d love to talk to you. We spent several hours discussing his approach to tennis.” As for his personal life, Cohen seems to prefer his privacy, considering his stark absence from any social media channels. For the same reason, any recent updates about the man and his life remain outside of public records.

Read More: Oracene Price: Where is Serena and Venus Williams’ Mom Now?