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I pored through it eagerly and found the tennis results.
The very next morning I went to the store and bought a newspaper.
Thousands of people had paid good money to see Venus and Serena play, and hundreds of tournament organizers had worked for weeks or months and had millions of dollars at stake. That’s what we faced, right before the tournament semifinals. With a knee injury, you can’t play anywhere near the top of your game. The girls decided for themselves if an injury required them to withdraw. Three doctors examined her before the match, and while she made it clear she keenly wanted to play against her sister, they advised her not to do so.
Venus notified the tournament trainer that she had to withdraw. We did everything by the Women’s Tennis Association book, but the tournament officials didn’t want Venus to pull out, so they kept stalling.
Without hesitation, I said to myself, “I’m going to have two kids and put them in tennis.” From that time on, tennis consumed me. In a place like this, a black man had to be on his best behavior. I will never forget standing there in amazement, watching the tournament director present a 25-year-old professional tennis player from Romania named Virginia Ruzici a ,000 check for winning the tournament. “That’s not bad for four days’ work.” I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to make that kind of money in four days, especially a woman. My interest was confirmed when I saw an article about Ruzici’s victory and the prize money. * * * I saw true courage on Saturday, March 17, 2001, when the community of Indian Wells, Calif., disgraced America. Located in Riverside County in the middle of the desert, framed by the beauty of the Santa Rosa Mountains, Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Alfa Romeos, Jags and Mercedes-Benzes sat casually in the spotless driveways of exquisite mansions.