Peter North asked in SportsTennis · 7 years ago

Why doesn't the William sisters play in the Indian Wells open?

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  • 7 years ago
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    Back in 2001, Venus and Serena were supposed to play in the Semifinals of the tournament. Serena was the 7th seed and Venus was the 3rd seed. Venus pulled out of the match an hour before the start of the match

    stating tendinitis as the reason for her withdrawal (knee injury).

    That started some very awful comments on ESPN by Patrick McEnroe who started bashing the Williams sisters and said they made him sick. Other commentators such as Mary Carillo, Pam Shriver and Mary Jo Fernandez made similar disgusting remarks. Then, journalists and the media hyped the situation accusing the Williams sisters of match-fixing which lead up to an awful and tasteless behavior by the Indian Wells crowd the day later, during the final.

    Venus and their father Richard as well as their team got booed while they were going to their seats prior to the start of the match. The entire crowd kept yelling racial remarks and booing the Williams family and the crowd got involved in the match as well, screaming every time Serena made a double fault or an error.

    Clijsters won the first set, but Serena fought back to win 4-6 6-4 6-2. She was in tears during the changeover between the first and second set, but she decided that if it was going to be her last match ever in Indian Wells, she might as well win it. She was booed while she was waving to the crowd after she won the match and had to stop her ceremony speech a few times because the crowd was so loud.

    The Williams family did not even receive any apology from the tennis community or the Indian Wells tournament. That pretty much sums up what happened in 2001 and they are right not to play it. Nobody should have to put up with such racism and hate. It's definitely one of the darkest days in tennis history.

    ***Edit: Yall b*tches need to calm down. I didn't give anyone a TD, ffs.

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  • 7 years ago

    Eerily . . . last week, I posted the answer to a similar question asked by "Ali" and it was selected as Best Answer . . . I guess duplication is the sincerest form of flattery . . . just xerox it next time.

    In 2001, Venus and Serena were supposed to meet in the semifinals of the Indian Wells tournament, but Venus pulled out of the match an hour before citing tendinitis. On ESPN Patrick McEnroe spewed that the Williams Sisters made him sick. Mary Carillo, Pam Shriver and Mary Jo Fernandez made similar disgusting remarks. Tennis writers, who, notably, were not of color, jumped in with unsubstantiated claims of match-fixing between the two sisters and what ensued on the day of the finals became a circus of historic proportion.

    Before the match began, Venus, her father, Richard and their entourage, were booed thoroughly by fans and reportedly yelled racial remarks at the group as they were getting seated. When Serena took the court to play the final match against Kim Clijsters, the entire stadium booed her and continued to do so with every double-fault, unforce error or winner from Clijsters throughout the match.

    Remarkably, Serena won the match but she was in tears and to me, it is one of the many dark days that the greatest female player of our times has had to face in order to do her job as a professional . . . and these incidences ALWAYS seem to happen in the United States.

    The family did not receive an apology, or any support from the tennis community and the tournament director, Charlie Pasarell's only comment was that those (racial) words would not have been spoken by the Indian Wells community.

    For that reason, the Williamses do not play the tournament and for that reason, Indian Wells can NEVER be considered the 5th major . . . thank goodness for the Miami tournament!

    Source(s): THERE is no justification for what happened to Serena & The Williamses that day. NONE. I can't wait for the Williams Sisters' tell-all book(s) once they retire. Giving me a thumbs down doesn't make either of you smart or original just verbose & verbatim. Go figure that out.
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  • Chuck
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Very sad story. I wasn't there, so all the information I get is basically second-hand.

    Just found these articles by searching on the web:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/news/2001/...

    http://www.nowpublic.com/sports/sisters-williams-b...

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/361673-venus-an...

    There are at least two sides to this story. It's really not as simple as fans being mean, although they obviously were. If tennis players were not begin heavily rewarded in terms of money and fame, I don't think we would see the same level of vitriol shown to them.

    Serena was also aggressively heckled at Roland Garros. I don't think the Parisians were any "nicer" to her than the fans at Indian Wells, but as far as I know, she and Venus have not boycotted the Paris leg of the Grand Slam events. We have the US Open debacle, where Serena threatened to shove a ball down an umpire's throat.

    And next, the blood clot in her chest that almost took her life. Sister Venus has Sjogren's Syndrome, a *very* difficult thing for anyone to have to deal with. So, if you think their lives are nothing but limo's, Lear jets, and autographs, you are very much mistaken.

    I've noticed that Serena doesn't scream at contact anymore, and I applaud her for that. Bravo! Unfortunately, Azarenka and Sharapova have not gotten the memo. Worse, the ITF has not written a rule forbidding this type of gamesmanship.

    So, play well, my friends, and remember:

    Sportsmanship might not be #1, but it's way ahead of whatever is in 2nd place.

    Nobody's perfect :-)

    Source(s): playing teaching coaching EDIT: FYI: It's very unusual for me to give a thumbs down to anyone, unless they write something flagrant, or against Yahoo's rules. None of the thumbs down on this question came from me.
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