After 14-Year Boycott, Serena Williams Returns To Indian Wells
Hot off of her 19th grand slam victory in Australia, Serena Williams made a monumental announcement: she will be returning to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after a 14-year boycott. Now, the Indian Wells incident is such a long time ago that plenty of people have probably forgotten what actually happened.
Serena was supposed to play her sister in the semifinal match, but Venus was reportedly injured: though the injury was allegedly told to the officials well before the allotted time, they did not make the announcement until minutes before the match was supposed to begin. As a result, during the finals between Serena and Kim Clijsters, the Indian Wells fans angrily jeered Williams from beginning to end. They even cheered unforced errors and double faults as the tournament director and umpire sat idly by.
The sisters’ coach and father Richard Williams told the media racist comments were being constantly thrown at him throughout the entirety of the final. Without an apology or any action, Serena Williams vowed never to return to Indian Wells.
But 14 years later, Serena Williams believes she has grown enough to handle the drama that comes with Indian Wells. In a YouTube video announcing this monumental decision, Serena stated, “I no longer want an unfortunate single incident to overshadow all the great memories that my family has created there.”
Williams will use the event as a way to shed light on one of her charities, the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). Donating to the charity will enter fans in a contest to join her in Indian Wells. The charity “provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system,” according to Williams.
In what has just become one of the biggest tennis stories of the year, uSports will continue to cover all the events leading up to the March 11 start date.
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