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Interview :)

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Nadia Hakeem

on 16 November 2013

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Transcript of Interview :)

My email
Here is the email that I sent to Dan in hopes of a reply...

Hello Mr. Paisner,

My name is Nadia Hakeem and I come from Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada. I attend Gleneagle Secondary School and I am currently doing a project where we have to choose an individual that we look up to. So, I chose Serena Williams. Now, if I am not mistaken you wrote a book about her correct? If so, what I am asking of you is if it would be possible for me to ask you a few questions about Serena Williams as it is a requirement for this assignment. This project is also due sometime in the next 2 weeks. Therefore, I would really appreciate it if you were to get back to me as soon as you can.

Thank you for your time.

I hope to hear back from you soon

Nadia Hakeem :)
Fortunately, he responded with this ..

Nadia... thank you for your e-mail... yes, I did work with Serena on her autobiography, about 3-4 years ago... I would encourage you to read it - it will give you a lot of background information for your assignment... if you want to send me some questions, I'd be happy to answer them... however, I have not been in contact with her in recent months so I will be unable to comment on the recent developments in her life and career... DAN
Part of the eminent project is that us students have to find a person who once knew your person, knows them right now, is an expert in that field, etc. In order to find background information that cannot be found online or in books.
During this time, I knew I wasn't going to be able to get a hold of Serena herself. However, I did manage to reach an individual who once interviewed Serena in order to finish his autobiography about her. Therefore, I thought who better to talk to then Dan Paisner himself.
Interview :)
Success!! I found his website and was on the seach for an email address
Success 2.0!! I found his email address and decided to give it a shot ..
I knew it wasnt going to be easy to find him, so, I went on some extreme researching to try and find some contact information that I could reach him with.
I was pleased with his response so I sent in some questions ..

1) What were some of Serena's major struggles?
2) How did she overcome them?
3) What was a tough part of Serena's early life in tennis

Sure enough Dan responded again :)

Nadia... Serena grew up playing on public courts, in and around Compton, California - a tough part of Los Angeles county... very often, she and her sisters had to sweep broken glass from the courts before they could begin playing - or, in some cases, drug syringes... tennis was important in the Williams household, and Serena and her sisters trained every day... as Serena and her sister Venus excelled, they trained even more, so I think she would say she learned focus and discipline at a very early age... she was forced to develop a strong work ethic - and it's one of the reasons she's been able to be at the top of her game for so many years...

perhaps the biggest struggle in her early career came in a controversial 2001 tournament in Indian Wells, California, when she was booed in a hateful way during her championship match against Kim Clijsters... Serena and her family believed the booing was racially motivated, and she and Venus have boycotted the event ever since... there's a thorough, informative account of the incident in Serena's book, and I would encourage you to read it, to get Serena's perspective... there are also some good quotes you can pull from that section, to illustrate her strength of character...
Follow Up Time
After those insightful answers I asked him a follow up question to complete my interview

4) What is Serena's Motivation?
His Answer
more recently, I'd say a big part of Serena's motivation is her legacy... she is intensely focused on winning Grand Slam events, and she works tirelessly to make sure she is remembered as one of the greatest tennis players of all time...
The End
And there you have it folks ... I reached my goal I hope you reached yours! :)
Full transcript