World Number One Serena Williams has officially entered the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Williams 32, has not played in the Desert since 2002, when she was ‘booed’ and ‘racially attacked’ by the crowd in her native America.
Her sister Venus has not officially entered the Event. Serena heads the entry list into the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. During her recent interview after defeating Daniela Hantuchova, she said regarding a return to Indian Wells ‘ Yeah, it actually crossed my mind a couple days ago, or after I saw the movie.’ She said watching watching the film ‘Mandela’ had given her inspiration.
She further said she was thinking about a return to the Desert. The other notable absentee’s from the Entry list are Maria Kirilenko Jamie Hampton Indian Wells became one of the four Mandatory Events on the WTA Tour when the Roadmap was first introduced on the WTA Tour in 2009.
The other Events which are also Mandatory Miami, Madrid and Beijing. If your ranking is high enough you are entered atomically, if you pull out of the Event you are given zero points towards your ranking. Many felt the Williams Sister’s would make a return given the change in the rules, but they still refused to play.
Serena won all three of the Premier Mandatory Events that she competed in last year. Williams, had been due to play older Sister, Venus, in the semi finals in 2002. The match was due to broadcast live in the United States, but twenty minutes before the match, Venus pulled out.
Venus had always maintained that she told the WTA Tour, long before the match that she would not be able to take to the court to play her younger sibling. Serena still managed to win the Title by defeating the Belgian Kim Clijsters.
Showing her will as a Champion, but after the match, both siblings said they would never return to Indian Wells after the racial attack they had faced on that Sunday afternoon. If Serena does intend to play the BNP Paribas Open it would be a welcomed return for the WTA Tour. The Event starts on the 3rd March 2014.