Williams: 'Reading Mandela book inspired me to return to Indian Wells'

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Williams: 'Reading Mandela book inspired me to return to Indian Wells'

It's three years and a half now that Serena Williams came back to compete at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after boycotting the event for 13 years. Serena admitted that reading Nelson Mandela book played a big factor in the decision.

'Absolutely. Interestingly enough, I read the book about a year ago and then I saw the movie', said Serena. 'I think it came out two years ago or‑‑ yeah. So I read the book two years ago then too. That hit me hard, because I met Mr.Mandela a couple times, and we had some interesting conversations.

I just really thought that he made such an on the impact on my life and the things that I do with charity as well as having an opportunity to meet him. I thought it just‑‑ in reading his story, it really hit me in an interesting way.' Serena also spoke about the concept of forgiveness: 'In order to forgive you have to be able to really let go of everything.

I kind of did that a long time ago, but I still wasn't at a point where I was ready to come back to Indian Wells. I was a little nervous as well. I went through something that wasn't the best thing for me. So trying to get over those nerves of coming back and how will I feel and what's it going to be like.

Well, I have to experience that. I think when you do forgive and you do try to let go, you have to let a lot of those emotions go as well.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title