Serena Williams has a 2-book deal, starting with an ‘intimate’ and ‘open-hearted’ memoir

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. dominate / ˈdɒm əˌneɪt / (v.) – to have more importance than other people or things

    The company dominated the market by creating high-quality products and offering excellent customer service.

  2. memoir / ˈmɛm wɑr / (n.) – a written record of one’s personal experiences

    My aunt beautifully described her childhood memories in her memoir.

  3. inspirational / ˌɪn spəˈreɪ ʃə nl / (adj.) – causing people to feel hopeful or encouraged

    The inspirational message I heard years ago motivated me to become a successful businessman.

  4. philanthropist / fɪˈlæn θrə pɪst / (n.) – a wealthy person who gives money and time to people to help them have a better life

    A generous philanthropist donated a huge amount of money to build this hospital.

  5. eschew / ɛsˈtʃu / (v.) – to intentionally avoid doing or using something

    The artist is eschewing traditional painting techniques and experimenting with new methods.


Read the text below.

Now that she’s stepped back from the sport she dominated like few others, Serena Williams is ready to reflect.

The tennis great has a two-book deal with the Random House Publishing Group, starting with an “intimate” memoir in which she will open up about everything from her childhood and early tennis training, dramatized in the 2021 film “King Richard,” to her extraordinary career and the obstacles and setbacks she endured along the way. The book is not yet titled and does not have a release date.

The second book, also untitled, will be an “inspirational” work, according to Random House, which announced that “Williams will offer rules for living that draw on her experiences as a philanthropist and advocate, her career as an investment unicorn with Serena Ventures, and someone who has long sought to lift a diverse and emergent generation of young women whose aspirations are not confined to the court.”

Williams, 42, announced her retirement — famously eschewing that term and saying instead she was “evolving” away from professional tennis — shortly before the 2022 U.S. Open. She has not played since that tournament, which included a second-round victory over No. 2-ranked Anett Kontaveit before a third-round loss to Ajla Tomljanovic.

Williams left the sport with 23 Grand Slam titles in singles, another 14 in doubles with her sister Venus, more than 300 weeks at No. 1 in the rankings and four Olympic gold medals. She also has been widely cited for breaking down racial barriers in tennis and racial and gender barriers in sports and beyond.

In an essay published in Vogue last year, she wrote that she hoped that because of her success “women athletes feel that they can be themselves on the court. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can be strong yet beautiful. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.”

Her previous books include a memoir from 2009, “On the Line,” and a picture story, “The Adventures of Qai Qai,” released last year.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What aspects of Serena Williams’ life and career do you think will be most interesting to explore in her memoir (ex. her childhood and early tennis training, her extraordinary career and the challenges she experienced)? Why? Discuss.
  • If you were given the chance to write a memoir about your life, what part of your life would you like to share with your readers? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Why do you think Serena Williams is eschewing the term “retiring” and uses the word “evolving” instead to describe her transition away from professional tennis? Discuss.
  • Why do you think some individuals choose to shift from their professional careers to become philanthropists or advocates? Discuss.