Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can
No history book on tennis would be complete without the name Arthur Ashe included somewhere.
By any standard, he was a remarkable player winning three Grand Slam titles. He was an inspirational ambassador for the game and wrote and spoke eloquently about tennis. “Success is a journey, not a destination,” he said. “The doing is often more important than the outcome.”
Arthur was not simply a champion sportsman. As an African American, forced to develop his game on a segregated tennis court growing up, Arthur was a champion against racial discrimination. When he was selected for the U.S. Davis cup team in 1963, he was the first black player ever to be included.
In an exciting All-American Wimbledon final in 1975, Arthur beat Jimmy Connors to to become champion – it had been his ninth crack at the title and his victory came just a day before his 32nd birthday. After retiring in 1980, he became a respected writer, journalist and sports commentator, also visiting South Africa as an international observer ahead of moves to introduce racial integration there.
When the tennis star began feeling ill in 1988, tests revealed he was HIV-positive, the result of an infected blood transfusion. He went public with his diagnosis and established a charitable foundation to raise awareness of the disease. He went on to also found the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.
Arthur Ashe was posthumously awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton and quarter of a century on, he remains an inspirational figure.