Our well-known friend Kevin from the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has once again given something to Women’s Tennis Blog – this time it is Serena Williams’ autobiography called On the Line written with the help of Daniel Paisner. As always, it will be my great pleasure to give it to one of you, but first let’s see what the book is about.
Serena is talking about her childhood, the large role of her sisters, and of course, about her whole family. It’s interesting to see the beginnings of such a tennis champion, the techniques her father used in coaching her, and the way Serena saw tennis in those early days.
My absolutely favorite part of the book is one situation picturing the relationship between Serena and Venus.
Venus started playing tournaments, and father Richard didn’t allow Serena to play just yet because he considered her to be too young. Venus was nine years old when she entered a 10-and-under tournament, and Serena was eight at the time. But Serena desperately wanted to play and one day, playing Office at the table, she came across an application for the tournament. And imagine what she did: eight-year-old Serena had the courage to fill out the application herself, send it and not let her parents know about it. When the time came to go to the tournament, Serena went there along with Venus and the rest of the family, as usual. Venus won her first match at the tournament very quickly and then Richard started looking for Serena, asking one of the tournament officials where she was, and the answer he got was: "Oh, you mean the younger one? She’s playing her match on that court over there." Hahaha imagine Richard’s shock! To make the story even better, both Serena and Venus reached the final. Venus won the match 6-2 6-2 and here are my favorite paragraphs from the autobiography.
At the awards ceremony right after, they gave Venus a nice gold trophy. They gave me a nice silver trophy as the runner-up. It was my first real trophy, so you’d think I’d be excited about it, but I just kept looking at Venus’ gold trophy and wishing I could have somehow beaten her. Oh my God, I wanted that gold trophy so badly.
Venus could see I was upset. After all, she was my big sister. She was used to taking care of me. She knew just what to do to pick me up. She came up to me after the awards ceremony and said, "You know what, Serena? I’ve been thinking. I’ve always liked silver better than gold. You want to trade?"
It was the sweetest, most selfless gesture. She set it out like I’d be doing her a favor by trading trophies.
Isn’t this a beautiful story? It shows Serena’s competitiveness and courage that stood out even when she was a child, as well as Venus’ kindness and caring for her younger sister.
I recommend reading this book if you want to get a closer insight into the life of Serena Williams, and especially into the way she was brought up. Serena reveals things about her personal life and personality, in a very simple and conversational tone, although I wouldn't say she uncovered a lot. I still feel there are a lot of things about Serena left for us to learn. I can also mention that the book features a section with some nice family photos.
Have you read the book? What would you add to my review?
Now, let's move to the giveaway part. I'm announcing a very simple contest. All you need to do in order to qualify for winning On the Line is to give the answer to the question: "When was Serena Williams' autobiography On the Line released?" There is the exact date. Just write your answer in the comments section below. One random answerer will get the book. The contest will be closed on Tuesday, February 16, 5 pm CET. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 17.