Venus: I've got too much left to accomplish to write a memoir now
• That would be fun and I have thought about it. I am still not sure if I will add mixed at the U.S. Open this year, but have also not ruled it out. It's hard to pick one ideal partner, but either of the Bryans would be great of course. I played with
• Thank you. I believe I have a lot more left to accomplish in my career and didn't think that now was the right time to write a memoir. I did want to write a book though and this idea had been in my head for awhile. The more I began to learn about successful people that played competitive sports in their youth, the more interested I became in the concept. I finally ran the idea by my management team and, before long, Harper Collins/Amistad told us they wanted to work with us on the project. It took a lot of hard work and it was like a tournament victory when
• We played tennis as a family.
• It's hard to pick just one, but I think winning my first Wimbledon and the Olympic gold medal in singles would go at the top of the list. The first Wimbledon because as a kid our parents would tell us to pick a Grand Slam that we wanted to win and mine was always Wimbledon. Words could not describe the feeling of a childhood dream becoming reality. As for the Olympics, representing my country and winning gold fulfilled another lifetime dream. But to be clear,
• Wow. You never really know how your career will impact someone and I appreciate your kind words. If you haven't yet, you should read up on
• The National Junior Tennis League, which was created by Arthur Ashe, has some very strong grassroots programs and the USTA also has great introductory programs like QuickStart. I visited one of the NJTL programs in Philadelphia, which is actually named after Arthur Ashe, when I was there recently and I was impressed by the kids and how well the program was organized. Over the years I have seen other strong programs in Washington D.C., Chicago, Miami and quite a few other cities. The sport needs more programs like this but the other challenge is finding ways to make tennis interesting for young people -- both "unconventional" and "traditional" -- especially with so many other sports and activities to choose from. I always thought it was unique that competitive tennis can give someone a chance to see other parts of the world, even at the junior level. Perhaps this is something unique to our sport that might be the spark for kids or their parents, especially kids that might not see another way out of their environment. I'm sure college scholarships are also an incentive for many parents. For kids that have some potential, it is also important for parents and instructors to keep it fun. Burnout is a real risk. Our parents always emphasized that Serena and I needed to have a balanced life -- we had friends, we went to a normal school, and we had outside interests and we didn't play too many tournaments. I am very confident that this approach is why I love the game as much now as ever before.
• I remember just wanting to play. I think I actually forgot my dress at the hotel and had to go back and get it. I just couldn't wait to compete. Since then, the game generally has gotten a lot faster. Partially due to the technology and I think also Serena and I play in a way that forced the other girls to learn to hit the ball harder. Fitness is more important not just for power but also for injury prevention. I see more female players traveling with physios and trainers than ever before, which has a direct relationship to the competition on the court.