Venus Williams Reveals Serena Inspired Her To Return To Indian Wells After Racial Abuse

Venus Williams Reveals Serena Inspired Her To Return To Indian Wells After Racial Abuse

by Sebastian Dahlman

Venus Williams return to Indian Wells in 2016 after years of boycott following racial abuse many years ago in 2001.

The Williams sisters didn't have a smooth path in tennis and every success they did have came after a lot of hard work. Breaking down barriers, quite literally, was the main challenge they faced early on in their career and the Indian Wells Masters in 2001 is something they won't ever forget.

It was supposed to be a semi-final between them in 2001 but Venus pulled out minutes before the match due to tendonitis. Enraged fans subjected the sisters to racial abuse even during the final which Serena won over Kim Clijsters. The experience left a mark on the sisters who boycotted the event for years after it happened.

Serena was definitely my motivation to return to Indian Wells. I wouldn’t have done that without her so. I’m so glad, though. Because it’s amazing playing in California, where I’m from, it’s awesome playing in the States too. There’s nothing like playing where you’re from. So I thank her a lot for that.

Serena was the first player to make a return to the event with Venus following suit after being inspired by Serena and the reception she received. It was a huge step for the event which sought to clean its image following the stain from many years ago. It's been a while since Venus played at the event with her final appearance being in 2019 though she hopes to make a return in the future.

Her former coach Rick Macci exclusively told Tennis Infinity recently that Venus could retire at the US Open which would mean that she would not return to Indian Wells anymore but we'll see. She has a desire to still keep playing tennis teasing a comeback in the second half of 2023.


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