Venus and Serena Williams: Boycotting Indian Wells 9 Years and Counting

By
at Internationaled.org

Published: March 12, 2010

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At the Indian Wells Masters Series Tennis Tournament in 2001, Venus Williams pulled out of a semifinal match against her sister, Serena Williams, just four minutes before the match was scheduled to start. The enthusiastic crowd, assembled and anxious to see the dynamic duo take the court, were upset and booed the sisters.

The match was to be televised nationally on ESPN2. When Venus and her father, Richard Williams, entered the stadium the next day to watch Serena in the finals against Kim Clijsters, they were booed, as was Serena all during her match.

Even as Serena held the championship trophy aloft, the crowd voiced their displeasure with the Williams sisters, feeling that Venus’ withdrawal was a contrived way out of a difficult match for the close-knit family. The crowd felt deceived and let down. They let everyone know the extent of their displeasure. 

To view the subsequent crowd reaction click here.

Was the crowd wrong? Yes. Players retire due to injury all the time. To accuse Venus of this action was unjust. At the time, the Williams sisters were a rarity in the world of professional tennis. They were both top-notch exciting tennis players capable of beating anyone else on tour. 

But their matches against each other often lacked the fire of their matches against other professionals. Venus seemed far too tender, and she rarely defeated Serena in the big finals, except at Wimbledon. In those days there were often subtle comments made in certain media quarters, hinting that the outcome of their matches was pre-ordained.

It was, of course, all nonsense with no foundation. It is not even logical that the sisters would engage in such subterfuge because there was no compelling reason to do so.  Sisters compete. From the day they are born until the day they die, sisters vie for attention and the top spot. It is human nature.&nbs...
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Tennis

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