This blog is from my dear friend, Serena Williams, who I love for her tennis, but more importantly love for her gifts to humanity.  She has done amazing charitable work around the world, and has recently joined the African Angels for the Diamond Empowerment Fund.  I really believe that she can become her generation’s Muhammad Ali, as she continues to do amazing work to help others.  I highly recommend her new book, On The Line, which has already become a New York Times’ Bestseller!!!  Make sure you pick up a copy.  Thank you Serena for your beautiful blog.

-Russell Simmons


There are believers, there are those that are hopeless, thoughtless, dreamers, those that are ambitious, the fearful, the brave, the fighters, the lovers, the survivors, the dependent, the independent & I am Serena Williams. I am all of the above plus a tennis player & now an author. I am the author of ‘On The Line.’ I am a woman, an African-American woman. Yes, I’ve faced adversity and unlike some, I’ve faced it under the lights and under the attention of the world.  I am not only an American tennis player, I am an African-American daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, but to the world I am an international tennis player.

The thought of the weight I carry can sometimes be paralyzing, to some, but for me, I enjoy it.  I enjoy being told I’m too fat to win, or my career is over – I’ve seen my glory days.  This is what everyone was saying about me publicly, in papers, quietly at home.  But as Maya Angelou said, ‘And still I rise.’

In my book ‘On the line’ it focuses on my fall from grace.

At the time in 2003, I had it all. Fame, friends, companies ready to sponsor me, grand slams wins. I hardly ever lost. Until it all came crashing down.

It started with surgery.  Will I be able to play again? No one knew that my quadriceps muscle had completely detached from my knee. The doctors had to re-attach it.

Then came the tragic violent death of my sister.

Losing is synonymous to my life on & off court, which often leaves me on the line.  But the loss of my sister made me wonder, is tennis even worth my time?

In bed and inconsolable, I did not know where to turn.

In a search for clarity, as a people, we search for the letters, letters that form words, words form expression. I could find no clarity.

All I knew is I had it all, and now – now I was at the bottom of the bucket- could I rise again? Did I even want to rise?

Growing up with my family was an experience I would love to do again.  I was the youngest of 5 girls, so I pretty much got my way and got anything I wanted – which you will read in the book all the ‘younger sister’ things I did. To sum it up, I was BAD. I never thought that my life would take me to where I am now, and how grateful I have been to be apart of something so cool, so amazing.

I never thought I would be winning so many matches.
I never thought I would travel the world.
I never thought I would play and do something I adore so much for money.
I never thought I would have to fall from the mountaintop to appreciate everything.
I never thought my faith would be tested.
I never thought I would have to tell my mom, that her daughter, my sister is dead.

There are many things I never thought I would even share with you all, but I really put it all on the line.

It will help you understand me, who I am. I am human, I make mistakes.  I’m not a robot and I can’t win them all. I don’t even want to, because losing helps you appreciate being alive!

In my book ‘On the Line,’ I want everyone to not only enjoy it, but I would like everyone t

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