Despite taking inspiration from Nelson Mandela biopic, Serena Williams confirms she will not be making a return to Indian Wells
Williams said she was considering a return to the tournament after watching Long Walk To Freedom but has not given a reason yet for her absence this year
Saturday 08 February 2014
Serena Williams will not make her return to Indian Wells this year after all.
The world number one had been expected to make her first appearance at the BNP Paribas Open since 2001 but announced her withdrawal late on Friday.
"After careful consideration, I will not return to the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open this year. I send my best wishes to everyone involved with the tournament," Williams said in a statement.
The 32-year-old did not give a reason for the move.
She has been suffering from a back problem which forced her to withdraw from next week's Qatar Open, while neither she nor her sister Venus have played at the mandatory event in the Californian desert since 2001, when they were subjected to heckling and, allegedly, racist abuse.
The crowd turned against the Americans after Venus pulled out of a scheduled semi-final clash with Serena, who was then booed during the final against Kim Clijsters.
Serena Williams softened her stance towards the tournament after watching the Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk To Freedom and appeared poised for a return after her name appeared on the entry list.
However, whether due to the back injury or a change of heart, the wait for a Williams sister to appear again at Indian Wells will go on.
"We are disappointed that Serena has withdrawn from the 2014 BNP Paribas Open," said tournament director Steve Simon. "We wish her the very best of luck in the year ahead and hope that she will decide to play here next year."
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food