View Full Version : Serena's interview with Timesonline

Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:31 AM
Taken just before the Doha Champs on October 27 2009
It's a long artilcle. Serena finally talks about Yetunde's death, the Indian Wells incident, her religion, her love life and her message to the people. I really loved her message. Serena also reveals that she wrote a long apology letter to the lineswoman. Here are a few very interesting excerpts:
The watershed moment in her life occurred on September 14, 2003, when Yetunde, her eldest sister, was murdered in Los Angeles. It happened when Williams was in Toronto for a television show and would eventually plunge her into deep depression. Waking in despair each day, she plummeted down the rankings, reaching a low of 140, a personal and emotional nadir that makes her renaissance all the more extraordinary.
“I still find it difficult to talk about what happened with Tunde,” Williams says. “She was nine years older than me and was like a second mother. She called me ‘kid’ and took me clothes shopping and stuff. I could be kind of naughty growing up, but she was always so forgiving, just smiling and putting her arm around me. Even after we moved to Florida we saw each other a lot. She was personal assistant to Venus and me for a time.”
Yetunde was killed in a drive-by shooting of the kind that Serena had heard reverberating around the neighbourhood when playing on those public courts in Compton. Her sister had been out with her new boyfriend, a gang member, when someone started firing into the car. The bullets were meant for him. Yetunde was 31.
“I was sharing a room with Lyn [her sister] in Toronto when I found out,” Williams says. “We just couldn’t take it in. I had been talking to Tunde on the phone earlier that day and she had been real excited about what was going on in her life, and mine. I just couldn’t make sense of it. It was like something out of a dream.
“I took a little time off from tennis, but then I threw myself back into it. I think that happens when people face tragedy: either they plunge themselves into their jobs to take their minds off what has happened, or they grieve properly. I didn’t grieve properly.”
Two years later, Williams ground to a halt, the emotional trauma finally catching up with her. “I needed to take time out from tennis because I had an injury to my leg and had all sorts of emotional and spiritual wounds,” she says. “I started to see a therapist because I was in a bad place and needed to talk things through. After a while, I started getting my energy back again. God helped with that.”

Indian Wells incident
It (faith) has also seen her through some dark moments. Like the time she was jeered by a baying crowd of 14,000 in the final in Indian Wells in 2001, some spectators shouting “n****r” at a girl still in her teens. The reason? Her sister, Venus, had withdrawn from a semi-final against Serena because of injury. The announcement was belated and many disgruntled fans had already gathered in the stadium. By the time Serena played the final, they had not forgiven the Williams family.
“I still find it difficult to believe what happened,” she says. “I was just a kid going out there to play a match [against Kim Clijsters, of Belgium] and people were shouting things like, ‘Go home to Compton’ just because Venus had withdrawn. I cried into my towel on one of the change-overs in the second set and just asked God to get me through the match. I didn’t even care if I won or lost.”
Was there a racist component to the abuse? “There must have been when you think of the things they were shouting. It was all so unfair,” she says. “It really got to me. But then I thought, ‘Be tough, be strong, don’t let them destroy you’, and suddenly I had this really strong mental image of God protecting me. It was like he was out there with me, shepherding me through the rest of the match.”
Despite a torrid opening, Williams won in three sets. But it was what happened in the aftermath that is so deeply emblematic of this strong, passionate and extraordinary woman.
Interviewed on court, she first thanked her family and the sprinkling of spectators who had cheered for her. Then she said: “And to those of you who didn’t support me, I love you anyway.” For a 19-year-old who had just wept on court because of the unrelenting abuse, it spoke eloquently of deep resolve and big-heartedness. “Yes, I guess it took a lot to rise above all that negativity,” she says. “But that is the strength you get when you have been through so much to get to the top.”


You want to know my message to people?” she says. “If you want to achieve your dreams, you gotta work real hard. There’s no lottery ticket to success. Sure, sometimes you fall down — and I have fallen an awful lot.
“But then you have to live the words of Muhammad Ali: ‘Being a champion isn’t about what you do when you are on top; it’s about what you do when you are knocked down.’ ”

Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:36 AM

Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:43 AM
Lol at explosive.

Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:46 AM
any better word instead of 'explosive' then?

In The Zone
Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:47 AM
This is in her book.

Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:54 AM
Yeah this is On The Line.

Nov 2nd, 2009, 03:22 AM
any better word instead of 'explosive' then?

Yeah, how about: Serena's interview with Timesonline!!Emerging from a pit of despair.

Emerging from a pit of despair is already enough of a stretch.

Nov 2nd, 2009, 03:44 AM
ok...i'll amend that now....

Nov 2nd, 2009, 04:17 AM
wow, that's quite the touching interview

Nov 2nd, 2009, 04:51 AM
ok...i'll amend that now....

Lol even more at you at actually changing it. :lol: I just thought it was overkill, but it's your thread, by all means name it what you want. Still laughing at you actually changing your thread. Change it back, all I did was laugh at the title. No need to please me. Please change it back, you're making me feel bad. :sad: