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View Full Version : Juicy Jim Pierce interview...talks about Mary, Justine, Richard Williams and more!


spiceboy
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:04 PM
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-bricker021206,0,1955806.column?coll=sfla-sports-tennis (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/tennis/sfl-bricker021206,0,1955806.column?coll=sfla-sports-tennis)

Pierce: Strike up the banned

Mary Pierce wants her once-notorious father, Jim, in the players' box at the French Open.
Published February 12, 2006

It has been almost 13 years since a half-dozen gendarmes in size-50 jackets forcibly escorted Big Jim Pierce off the grounds of the French Open, resulting in a ban that rocked the women's tennis tour.

Year after reclusive year in which Pierce has battled through a divorce, patched things up with his daughter, Mary, and carefully avoided television and newspaper reporters.

Until now.

Even after a half hour on the phone with Pierce a week ago I'm not sure why he called, though one fascinating piece of news came out of the long conversation.

Mary, who last year resurrected her 16-year career by reaching the finals of the French Open and U.S. Open and the quarters at Wimbledon, wants dad to be with her in Paris this year, sitting in the players' box for the first time since 1993 and cheering her on -- graciously, of course.

"Mary told my wife she was hoping we'd come. Of course, she'd never tell me because she's afraid I'd tell a reporter," Pierce said. "Print this and she'll see it, and then she'll really get on me about it.

"Of course, I'd love to be with her in Paris, sitting on the Court Centrale and watching her win. If she does the training like I want her to do, she's going to roll over everyone.

"Emotionally, it would be fantastic," Pierce said. "What could be better? When you win the French, you're the best. To me, anyone can win on grass on a given day. The French to me is better than 10 Australian Opens."

Yep, it was Jim Pierce's voice all right. And though he's obviously a changed, much more relaxed man, his patois is the same -- reverence for his daughter blended with a sense of impending doom if she doesn't keep coming back to Bradenton to work out with him.

"I told her how to play [Lindsay] Davenport at the French and she won. Then I told her [Justine] Henin can't hurt you in the final. She's a fighter, but not a great player, but she didn't win that one.

"Mary to me this past year, as I saw her and know her, she was maybe 65 to 70 percent where she could be. I was on the phone to her every day and sending her e-mails. She's got her woman's maturity now, and when she does her training, no one can beat her."

Last year's 43-13 record, with titles at San Diego and Moscow, was Mary's best season since 2000, when she won the French Open -- her second Grand Slam title.

It was the year she and her father reconciled for good. "I was standing on my balcony in Delray Beach, just thinking about Mary over in the Far East and wishing she would call me. Honest to God, the phone rang and she said, `Dad, you might have to coach me again.'

"So, I came up to Bradenton and we started training on some public courts near Bollettieri's until one day Nick told us to come inside, and he gave us a court in the back."

It's always hard to know how much of what Pierce tells you is dead on and how much is a proud father embellishing his role in her career, but I suspect it's a lot more truth than fiction.

Pierce was never a great tennis technician, but the man knows the game and he was the one who drove Mary, who can be very lazy, to the fitness level it took to win a couple of majors and 16 other titles.

That drive also was responsible, however, for what the WTA described as abusive behavior toward Mary's opponents at tournaments and the unpleasantness at the 1993 French Open.

"I didn't do anything wrong at the French Open," Pierce protested. "All I said was, `Come on, Mary. Fight.'

"But my ex-wife had the power over there because she's French and she told them, `If he says one thing, good or bad, take him out.' And after that they gave me a reputation as an abusive father.

"As God is my witness, may I burn in hell, I've never even spanked my children one time. They might have gotten a whack once when one of them said the F-word, but I've never abused them."

Pierce was banned from the WTA Tour for a year, but, in fact, he has not been to a tournament with Mary since the 1993 French. When Mary comes home to Florida, she trains with her father and younger brother, David, who is her traveling coach. Then Jim goes back to whatever he does all day and Mary hits the road.

For years, he had only occasional conversations with his daughter, when she would take his calls, and things were not good for Pierce financially, either.

"When my family left me back in '93, Richard Williams [father of Venus and Serena] came to my apartment and put a thousand dollars on the table and said, `That's yours every month as long as you need it.' But I couldn't take it."

Five years ago, Pierce married Svata, the Croatian aunt of a player Mary was training with at Bollettieri's. He's 70 now, and life seems to have evened out for him.

Meanwhile, Mary, at 31, doesn't quite have the movement she once did, but it was good enough to reach the final of the 2005 French, and that means covering a lot of court for two weeks.

Emotionally, I've never seen her in a better place. She's calm on the court and, apparently, committed to blazing through these last few years of her career in high form.

As for Big Jim, I wouldn't mind seeing him back at Roland Garros, sitting in the players' box and calling out encouragement to his daughter.

I can hear that booming voice screaming now: "Come on, Mary. Fight." Or something like that.

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:11 PM
Thank you for that! :D :bounce:

jimbo mack
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:11 PM
interesting read

:eek: generous richard wiliams :yeah:

MinnyGophers
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:13 PM
why would Richard Williams want to give him money? ?

jd4eva
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:14 PM
Wow. Damir Dokic is going to be mad. Looks like there's another crazy to rival him.

Wiggly
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:14 PM
Australians will get mad :lol:

jimbo mack
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:15 PM
"As God is my witness, may I burn in hell, I've never even spanked my children one time. They might have gotten a whack once when one of them said the F-word, but I've never abused them."


:tape:

Shenanigans
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:16 PM
I'm not really taking this article very seriously!

Wsisters45
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:17 PM
He thinks the French is more important than Wimbledon? :haha: :tape:

I love how he thinks Mary's success is all due to him. Give me a break :rolleyes: Mary was the one who put it the hard work and got herself back to the elite.

Hots4Safin
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:22 PM
very interesting but it leaves me with many questions:

Why WOULD Richard help Pierce?

Why is it that ANYONE can win on grass but not on clay. When it's French Open results that are far more varied than wimbledon results...

Justine can't hurt Pierce?

hablo
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:28 PM
"I told her how to play [Lindsay] Davenport at the French and she won. Then I told her [Justine] Henin can't hurt you in the final. She's a fighter, but not a great player, but she didn't win that one.
I can't believe he said that :spit::crazy:

"When my family left me back in '93, Richard Williams [father of Venus and Serena] came to my apartment and put a thousand dollars on the table and said, `That's yours every month as long as you need it.' But I couldn't take it."


:eek:

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:33 PM
[QUOTE=Hots4Safin]very interesting but it leaves me with many questions:

Why WOULD Richard help Pierce?

Well i would assume that he was friends with Richard at some point in the bringing up of there daoughters in the tennis world. He also could of felt bad for Jim and saw him as an outsider to the tennis world as Richard sometimes sees himself,especialy back in 1993 :D

switz
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:34 PM
god if he's a better bloke now i sure wouldn't have liked to now him when he was nuts.

1) he's disrespectful to other players

2) he seems to have no remorse for anything he did

3) he's making out like Mary is dependent on him for success

Obviously you can't read too much into one article but he certainly doesn't sound like a particularly pleasant person

new-york
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:34 PM
nice article.

i guess Richard understood his position & wanted to help.

LeRoy.
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:35 PM
article sounds dodgy :shrug:

CrossCourt~Rally
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:36 PM
nice article.

i guess Richard understood his position & wanted to help.

:yeah:

hablo
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:44 PM
what I don't like especially is how he down plays the abuse... :mad:

but what else to be expected...I mean how many abusers do fess up and realize what they have done ? :rolleyes:

thrust
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:51 PM
If the statement about Richard Williams is untrue, than Mr Pierce is really crazy. Why else would he say such a thing? It is possible that Richard knew and felt sorry for Jim, hopefully, that part of his talk is true. Unfortunately, I am inclined to think that Jim Pierce is delusional when he takes credit for Mary^s win over Davenport in Paris.

Shenanigans
Feb 12th, 2006, 09:59 PM
Mary And Her Father Are Very Different....

I know and no one is saying this is Mary's opinion and the whole article is a bit suspicious but Mary has reconciled with her father which of course is her decision but I am sure she prefers he keeps his mouth shut and stays in the background.

cellophane
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:08 PM
This article seems very fishy. And if it's true, then Jim is a nut. Talking to the press knowing that Mary doesn't want him to and being an obnoxious twat? And... um, Mary's movement is better than before? :confused:

The Richard Williams bit? :confused: This article doesn't ring true at all.

tennis ace
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:09 PM
In 93 venus and serena weren't even making money from tennis so why and where would richard be getting a thousand dollars every month just to dish out to mary's dad who isn't even family. seems a little weird to me :scratch: but maybe since venus turned pro less than a year later richard was already seeing the $ signs.

Midnite Surfer
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:18 PM
In 93 venus and serena weren't even making money from tennis so why and where would richard be getting a thousand dollars every month just to dish out to mary's dad who isn't even family. seems a little weird to me :scratch: but maybe since venus turned pro less than a year later richard was already seeing the $ signs.

I think they were already getting sponsors. I heard that was part of Richard's genuis. He got them big sponsors before they really even started to win anything or even play competitively. I could be wrong though.

Wannabeknowitall
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:37 PM
I can see why Richard would do it.
Richard belief in Serena and Venus is what has the family 12 grand slams.
If a person can somehow make the sponsers also believe what they believe, the sponsers will take a chance and that person will have the sponsers around their fingers.
Richard loves tennis but the one thing he definately loves more is his children.
I think one of his supressed fears is having the game of tennis split his family apart.
Richard just felt bad for someone who only wanted what he also thought his daughter wanted as well.

SelesFan70
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:43 PM
I had a man leave $20 on my table once... :tape:

Joana
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:49 PM
"I told her how to play [Lindsay] Davenport at the French and she won. Then I told her [Justine] Henin can't hurt you in the final. She's a fighter, but not a great player, but she didn't win that one.



The whole article is ridiculous, but this is just too much.

SJW
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:51 PM
In 93 venus and serena weren't even making money from tennis so why and where would richard be getting a thousand dollars every month just to dish out to mary's dad who isn't even family. seems a little weird to me :scratch: but maybe since venus turned pro less than a year later richard was already seeing the $ signs.
Venus had ridiculous endorsements from sponsors by the time she was barely in double digits.

spartanfan
Feb 13th, 2006, 12:57 AM
I think Venus had like a 10 million dollar contract with Reebok when she was like 15 years old, so Richard definitely had the money back then.

Mark Spruce
Feb 13th, 2006, 01:08 AM
Mr Pierce is a complete Jerk in my mind

Mark

tennis ace
Feb 13th, 2006, 01:09 AM
well that would explain it Midnite Surfer and SJW. I didn't know Venus was making money way back then at such a young age but it's not very hard to believe, after all she is the f***ing Venus Williams!

Solitaire
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:52 AM
Ugh Jim is the one that drove Mary away from the USTA. :mad: The Richard thing is odd to say the least. If it's true that's really cool of Richard.

Infiniti2001
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:08 AM
well that would explain it Midnite Surfer and SJW. I didn't know Venus was making money way back then at such a young age but it's not very hard to believe, after all she is the f***ing Venus Williams!

Yep, she was fisrt signed to reebok when she was between 12 -15 years old.

Zauber
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:05 AM
intresting story.
that whole family was a real soap opera.
Pierce family relationship with the Capriati family was real life family feud.
We have more money than you do. ...........

darrinbaker00
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:17 AM
Yep, she was fisrt signed to reebok when she was between 12 -15 years old.
Actually, Richard conned--I mean, persuaded Reebok to sign Venus in 1990, when she was all of 10 years old. ;)

ceiling_fan
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:34 AM
so he never spanked Mary once, but got a whack or two :lol: :shrug:

skanky~skanketta
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:41 AM
straange article@

MistyGrey
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Jim and Richard were friends.. I dont know how close, but I've read articles in the past where JIm has spoken of his 'friendship' with Richard. I dont think they were very close, but Richard did have a soft corner for Jim. I remember reading an old Andrea Jaeger article from 97 or 98, about Mary's family and their relationship with the Capriatis and the Williamses. Jim and Stefano hated eachother, but surprisingly the two girls were very fond of eachother.Jim only liked Vince Spadea's family and Richard Williams. In 91 or 92, Mary practised with a young Venus for about 15 minutes. There were some very nice details about Mary and Venus' practise. Does anyone have the article?

pierce_fanatic
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:50 PM
"As God is my witness, may I burn in hell, I've never even spanked my children one time. They might have gotten a whack once when one of them said the F-word, but I've never abused them."
hell better start making those fires (1000 degrees might do) because they'll have a visitor very soon . . . :fiery:

Cam'ron Giles
Feb 13th, 2006, 03:56 PM
Richard Williams came to my apt and offered me $1000 but I took it...:)

Mark Spruce
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:04 PM
LOL

regards

Mark

:)Richard Williams came to my apt and offered me $1000 but I took it...

Helen Lawson
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:22 PM
I had a man leave $20 on my table once... :tape:

Hon, if he looked like Richard Williams, you should have demanded a lot more than that.

Kart
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Hon, if he looked like Richard Williams, you should have demanded a lot more than that.

:rolls:

As for Jim Pierce, well I remain unconvinced.

Mark Spruce
Feb 13th, 2006, 04:35 PM
of what sorry

Sorry for the stupid question

Mark
:rolls:

As for Jim Pierce, well I remain unconvinced.

Kart
Feb 13th, 2006, 05:55 PM
of what sorry

Sorry for the stupid question

Mark

That he's as innocent as he claims to be.

Mark Spruce
Feb 13th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Hi Kart,

Thanks I have the same view as you

mark

That he's as innocent as he claims to be.

Aquanetta
Feb 13th, 2006, 06:10 PM
I'm glad that he's happy and Mary's happy but he's a little delusional when it comes to Mary's abilities.

davidmario
Feb 13th, 2006, 07:37 PM
richard:eek:

PamShriverRockz
Feb 14th, 2006, 01:48 PM
That he's as innocent as he claims to be.

I agree....bizarre article though. Bizarre guy.

Mark Spruce
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:03 PM
Creepy as hell he is !!!

Mark

I agree....bizarre article though. Bizarre guy.

SelesFan70
Feb 14th, 2006, 06:14 PM
Hon, if he looked like Richard Williams, you should have demanded a lot more than that.

OMG...you totally got me, Helen! :haha: