Championship pair Serena Williams and Venus Williams have withdrawn from playing doubles together at Indian Wells, after initially accepting a wildcard into the draw. It would have been the first time the Williams’ sisters had played together since Roland Garros last year and the first time at the Masters event since 1999.
Fans had already expressed their excitement on social media, but it was soon turned to confusion when neither Serena or Venus’ name could be seen on the doubles draw. It’s believed they pulled out of the event because of conflicting schedules.
Rather than being at the same side of the net, Serena and Venus faced off at opposite ends in the third round of Indian Wells last year. Serena was victorious in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. However, this year they are not in the same part of the draw.
Serena is seeded tenth and on the bottom half of the draw. She received an opening round bye but could face the ever dangerous Victoria Azarenka in the second round, followed by a showdown with her 2016 French Open successor Garbine Muguruza.
Venus is unseeded in the top half of the draw and could be on track for a second round meeting with Petra Kvitova. Neither Serena or Venus has played a tournament since the Australian Open.