Serena ends Indian Wells boycott

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iol spt jan23 Serena Reuters World number one Serena Williams could be ready to end her boycott of the WTA event at Indian Wells after putting her name on the entry list for the March tournament. Photo by: Jason Reed

New York, United States – World number one Serena Williams could be ready to end her boycott of the WTA event at Indian Wells after putting her name on the entry list for the March tournament.

Williams, a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion, and her older sister Venus have boycotted the event since 2001, when Serena was fiercely booed as she played Kim Clijsters in the final.

Spectators were angry at the time after Venus had defaulted to Serena due to tendinitis just moments before they were scheduled to meet in the semi-finals.

Richard Williams, their father and then-coach, was so upset with the boos that he called for security as he watched his daughters from the stands.

But Serena Williams, the 1999 and 2001 winner at Indian Wells, was among the women who entered this year's event, set for March 6-16.

“While it is too soon to know whether she will play or not, we are pleased to see Serena's name on the entry list,” said tournament director Steve Simon.

“Based on her comments at the Australian Open we know playing in the tournament is something she is thinking about.”

At the Australian Open, Williams said that she is considering a return to Indian Wells, having been inspired toward reconcilliation after watching a movie about the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Defending champion Maria Sharapova, the world number three from Russia, and world number two Victoria Azarenka are also among the women's entries.

The men's side includes top-ranked defending champion Rafael Nadal, world number two Novak Djokovic, defending champion and world number four Andy Murray and 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. – AFP


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