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USA Today Goes Courtside With Serena Williams At The Australian Open

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I woke up Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. to watch history. I was thinking: How am I going to see the inauguration, I am all the way in Australia? But I knew that I wanted to see history. And I did. Wow! All the people there standing there to watch President-elect Barack Obama become president was simply breathtaking. All these people bringing their little kids to see something they won't remember, but yet having the ability to say they were there. I was not there, but I felt and saw every moment.

Being here in Australia for the Aussie Open is the only reason why I was not there. Tennis makes the athletes travel so much. We travel 11 months out of the year on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, but I get such a rush and such a joy out of traveling to six continents while doing something I love — playing tennis.

My first-round match here was one I will remember. I was told it was over 115 degrees on the court. It was so hot that I forced my breathing to become shallow, to not over-extend too much energy gasping for air. My throat was clogged with dryness. I was desperate for water before the allotted two-game break and remember telling myself, "Serena, after this point you get some water." Indeed I did get water only to restart in the dry, excruciating heat.

I looked over at my opponent (Yuan Meng of China) while on the changeover to see how she was handling it, and she seemed to have succumbed to the heat. She was bent over with her head between her knees trying to keep cool. Finally after an hour and 20 minutes it was over. I won, but you did not see the usual Serena Williams after-match celebration. Just the Serena "happy to have won" and even happier to run out of the heat. What was even more interesting is that not 20 minutes after my match was finished the temperature dropped 20 degrees. Can you believe it? I always say if it weren't for bad luck I would not have any luck at all! LOL. I like to believe that someone or something wants me to be ready for the long haul. Hmmm.

Off the court has been a challenge. You see I am doing so many things it's simply crazy. I don't know how I manage it. I love to write, and I am in the middle of writing a book about my life. Now wait — this is not a memoir with a "capital M," it is actually a mix with a motivational piece. I have gone through so many things in my yet-young life, but I love helping people and I would love to have the opportunity to motivate others. So just this week I got a package of 500 pages of the book redone that I have to reread, re-mark up and rewrite. I love to be 100% hands on, but it's so much that I think that it's intimidating me! I want people to read my book and be motivated and laugh their hearts out when they read. So every night I write a bit more and correct more of the work. It's hard work, but in the end I hope it will be worth it.

That is just one of the things that I am doing. Also this week I got a massive package from my new clothing line which I will be debuting in April on HSN called the Serena Williams Signature collection. I just did a photo shoot, and I have to go through all of the photos which is over 2,000 of the ones I like, dislike, what to use, where and more! What a task!

I am debuting a jewelry collection, a handbag collection and some apparel. I am so excited to be doing this because I love fashion and I love clothes. I went to fashion school to learn to be a better designer for more than two years! Finally it seems like my diligence is paying off. What I love most about this collection are the price points. I want them to be competitive so everyone can look good, and not pay thousands of dollars to do so!!

I feel so blessed and so honored to have the opportunity to do different things.

Venus and I are also playing doubles, too!

I am sitting in the locker room right now just before we go onto the court for our game (a first-round victory against Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova), but I'm thinking now I should get ready to play — besides Venus is giving me the eye, and all little sisters knows when big sisters give you the eye, you better do what they want you to do.

With that being said I must go until next time!

Posted by Shelia

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