Serena Williams decided to forgive and is back in Indian Wells, after a 14-year boycott, and claims to be willing to write “a new story” in the Californian desert tournament, the first of the WTA Premier Tennis Series.
“Before, I wasn’t at a point where I felt ready to go back to Indian Wells,” Williams said Thursday at a news conference at Indian Wells’ Tennis Garden.
“I thought I had finished my career in this tournament, but I’ve come to my senses and hope to write a different ending to this story,” he added.
The world number one left the tournament resentful of the fans who booed her at the 2001 edition, upset over suspicions that she had fixed a semi-final match with her sister Venus.
The Williams were supposed to meet to find the rival of the Belgian Kim Clijsters in the final, but Venus did not show up at the last minute, claiming an unforeseen knee injury.
Because most fans had already paid for their seats on Center Court, many reacted with anger and boos to the announcement.
A day after the scandal, Serena defeated Clijsters in the final to win her second Indian Wells title, after the one she won in 1999, but was booed at length by the crowd, as was her father Richards Williams, accused of taking the decision of which of the two sisters would advance.
On Thursday, the top favorite of the 2015 edition said she was “trying to forget what happened in 2001 here.”
«The objective of my return is not to focus on what happened. I’ve already turned that page. The decision was made by me, feeling that the right thing was to go back and do the best I can, “emphasized the American.
This year’s Australian Open champion is one of 32 seeds to receive the day off in the tournament’s first round. Williams will make her debut on Friday night, facing Romania’s Monica Niculescu.
“Indian Wells was a pivotal moment in my history and I feel part of the history of the tournament as well. Together we have the opportunity to write a different ending, “said the winner of 19 Grand Slam tournaments.
The Indian Wells tournament also convenes the first Masters 1000 of the ATP season.