close Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn
8 mins

Arthur Ashe Quotes: Inspiring Words from a Tennis Legend

Discover the wisdom and legacy of Arthur Ashe through his inspirational tennis quotes. Immerse yourself in his famous sports quotes and be inspired by the enduring legacy of this tennis legend.
by The Blinkist Team | Dec 11 2023

Arthur Ashe, the legendary tennis player and social activist, is a figure who continues to inspire and captivate audiences to this day. Born in 1943, Ashe faced numerous challenges and barriers throughout his life, including racism and discrimination. However, he never allowed these obstacles to define him, and instead used his platform to advocate for equality and justice. Ashe’s memoir, “Days of Grace,” written in collaboration with Arnold Rampersad, provides a powerful and intimate account of his life and legacy. This book remains relevant as it not only sheds light on Ashe’s remarkable achievements on the tennis court, but also delves into his tireless efforts to make a positive impact on society.

Arthur Ashe, a tennis legend and civil rights activist, left behind a powerful legacy of not only his incredible achievements on the court but also his profound words of wisdom. From facing adversity to embracing diversity, Ashe’s quotes continue to inspire and resonate with people from all walks of life. In this article, we have gathered a collection of Arthur Ashe quotes that will motivate, encourage, and remind you of the importance of perseverance, equality, and making a positive impact in the world. Get ready to be inspired by the words of this remarkable tennis icon.

10 Inspiring Arthur Ashe Quotes to Live By

Drummed into me, above all, by my dad, by the whole family, was that without your good name, you would be nothing.

Arthur Ashe

This line emphasizes the importance of maintaining a good reputation. It highlights the belief that one’s name and reputation are invaluable assets that should be protected and cherished. The quote suggests that a person’s character and integrity are fundamental to their identity and success. It serves as a reminder to prioritize honesty, trustworthiness, and moral values, as they are the foundation upon which one’s life and relationships are built.

Trust has to be earned, and should come only after the passage of time.

Arthur Ashe

This quote emphasizes the significance of trust and the need for it to be earned over time. It suggests that trust is not something that should be given freely or without careful consideration. Instead, it should be built gradually through the passage of time, as actions and behaviors consistently demonstrate reliability and integrity. This quote highlights the importance of trust as a valuable and precious commodity that should be cherished and nurtured, rather than taken for granted.

I take the good with the bad, and I try to face them both with as much calm and dignity as I can muster.

Arthur Ashe

This quote highlights the importance of accepting both the positive and negative aspects of life with grace and composure. It suggests that instead of being overwhelmed or disheartened by challenges or setbacks, it is better to approach them with a sense of tranquility and self-respect. This quote encourages us to maintain our composure and dignity even in the face of adversity, reminding us that our attitude and response to life’s ups and downs can greatly influence our overall well-being and growth.

A wise person decides slowly but abides by these decisions.

Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe offers a valuable insight into the decision-making process and the importance of thoughtful deliberation. This quote suggests that wisdom lies in taking the time to carefully consider our choices, rather than rushing into hasty decisions. It emphasizes the significance of making deliberate and well-thought-out decisions, and once those decisions are made, committing to them wholeheartedly. Ashe’s quote encourages us to approach decision-making with patience, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to follow through.

I keep sailing on in this middle passage. I am sailing into the wind and the dark. But I am doing my best to keep my boat steady and my sails full.

Arthur Ashe

This quote reminds us of the resilience and determination required to navigate through challenging times. It paints a vivid picture of sailing into the wind and the dark, symbolizing the difficulties and uncertainties we may encounter in life. Despite the obstacles, the quote emphasizes the importance of staying steady and keeping our sails full, indicating the need to persevere and stay focused on our goals. It serves as a reminder to stay strong and resilient in the face of adversity, knowing that with determination and a steady course, we can overcome any challenges that come our way.

We must reach out our hand in friendship and dignity both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy.

Arthur Ashe

This quote highlights the importance of extending friendship and dignity to both our allies and our adversaries. It emphasizes the power of compassion and understanding in building bridges and fostering positive relationships. By reaching out to those who may not initially be on our side, we can create opportunities for dialogue, reconciliation, and mutual understanding. This quote encourages us to rise above animosity and extend a hand of friendship to all, recognizing that true progress and harmony can only be achieved through empathy and respect.

You really are never playing an opponent. You are playing yourself.

Arthur Ashe

Once again, Arthur Ashe delivers a powerful message about the nature of competition and self-improvement. This quote emphasizes that the true challenge in any endeavor is not the opponent we face externally, but the internal battles we must conquer within ourselves. It reminds us that our greatest obstacles and limitations are often self-imposed, and that the key to success lies in self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-belief. By recognizing that our true competition is with our own fears, doubts, and limitations, we can strive to continually better ourselves and reach our full potential.

Wherever I am when you feel sick at heart and weary of life, or when you stumble and fall and don’t know if you can get up again, think of me. I will be watching and smiling and cheering you on.

Arthur Ashe

This quote, from Arthur Ashe, is a heartfelt message of support and encouragement. It serves as a reminder that we are never alone in our struggles and that there are people who care about us, even when we feel lost or defeated. Ashe’s words offer comfort and reassurance, urging us to persevere and find strength in knowing that someone is always cheering us on. This quote serves as a reminder to reach out for support when we need it and to remember that we are never truly alone in our journey through life.

The best way to judge a life is to ask yourself, “Did I make the best use of the time I had?

Arthur Ashe

This line emphasizes the importance of reflecting on how we spend our time and evaluating the choices we make in life. It prompts us to consider whether we have made the most of the limited time we have been given. By asking ourselves this question, we are encouraged to assess our actions, priorities, and accomplishments, ultimately determining the value and impact of our lives.

Fear isn’t an excuse to come to a standstill. It’s the impetus to step up and strike.

Arthur Ashe

This quote emphasizes that fear should not be used as an excuse to remain stagnant or paralyzed. Instead, it should serve as a catalyst for action and empowerment. It suggests that fear can be a motivating force, pushing us to overcome obstacles and take bold steps forward. Rather than allowing fear to hold us back, this quote encourages us to use it as a driving force to confront challenges head-on and make a positive impact in our lives and the world around us.

In conclusion, Arthur Ashe’s words serve as a timeless reminder of the power of perseverance, equality, and making a positive impact in the world. His quotes inspire us to never give up, to fight for what is right, and to strive for excellence both on and off the court. Ashe’s legacy is a testament to the potential we all possess to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. Let his words be a guiding light as we navigate the challenges and triumphs of our own journeys, always remembering that we have the ability to create change and leave a lasting impact.


Are you intrigued by the captivating and thought-provoking quotes you’ve just discovered? Imagine having access to a treasure trove of knowledge, where you can explore those topics and more. With Blinkist, you can delve deeper into the ideas and concepts that inspire you. Expand your knowledge by reading or listening to over 6,500 bestsellers, summarized in just 15 minutes.


Take a leap into a world of insights. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore, learn, and grow. Join Blinkist now and embark on a journey of discovery! Try Blinkist today with our 7-day free trial!

Start your free 7-day trial

Facebook Twitter Tumblr Instagram LinkedIn Flickr Email Print