After the Indian Wells 2013 Ladies Singles Draw, got released a few hours back (if you are yet to see the Draw, you can see it by clicking Here), many people messaged me to ask why are the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus) not playing in Indian Wells, 2013?
Well, firstly let me clarify that the current WTA World No. 1 Serena Williams and her elder Venus Williams are fully fit & fine.
Just for every one's information, this will be 12th year in running when Williams sisters won't be playing at Indian Wells. Or in precise words, both Serena and Venus Williams have been boycotting Indian Wells since 2001.
The last time Venus and Serena played in Indian Wells, California was way back in 2001. In 2001 edition of Indian Wells, Serena and Venus Williams were scheduled to play each other on 17th March, 2001 in the semi-finals but Venus Williams pulled out of her semifinal match against Serena, citing knee tendinitis. The crowd booed the whole family immediately after the story of Venus Williams withdrawing from the match came out.
Even, when Serena Williams came to play her final match vs Kim Clijsters on 18th March, 2001, she and the whole family was booed very badly.
"It's the worst act of prejudice I've seen since they killed Martin Luther King," Richard Williams said in an interview after the final match. He said that as he and Venus were walking to their seats for the final, about a dozen fans used the racial slur and one spoke of skinning him alive.
Williams said he resisted a temptation to respond. Instead, he said, he watched near tears as fans jeered Serena and cheered when she double-faulted en route to a victory against Kim Clijsters. He characterized the crowd as white and wealthy, with all but about a thousand fans in the crowd of 16,000 booing his daughter.
"That's the hardest time in the world I've ever had," Williams said. "I'll never go to Indian Wells again, because I believe that guy would skin me alive."
Thou, Serena Williams inspite of all this Booing controversy played an amazing match and defeated Kim Clijsters 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 & It was Williams' 2nd title of the year and the 19th of her career. It was her 1st Tier I title of the year and her 2nd overall.
Here is the video of Richard Williams and Venus Williams getting booed as they were coming to the players box before the start of the final match ----
& here is the highlights from the final match of Indian Wells 2001 between Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters
Here is an emotional picture of Serena Williams hugging her dad Richard Williams after beating Clijsters in the finals of Indian Wells 2001
Since that day, Serena and Venus Williams have never played again in Indian Wells and this year is no exception. Here's hoping that hopefully, Serena and Venus will play there next year as I am sure, the fans there will love seeing Williams sisters in action.