Why tennis sensations Venus and Serena Williams refuse to particpate in popular tournament

By: Taren Vaughan

Since 1994, Venus and Serena Williams have been dominating forces in the world of professional tennis. Each of these women has collected several titles including Grand Slam titles, Olympic gold medals and large amounts of prize money. The Williams’ sisters participate in tennis tournaments and events in numerous countries across the world. However, there is one particular event that the two refuse to be apart of.

It all started back in 2001 at the Indian Wells Masters Series Tennis Tournament. Venus and Serena were preparing to play each other in a semifinal match. As always, the announcers and fans were greatly anticipating a true battle between a set of very talented siblings. To the crowd’s disappointment, Venus Williams withdrew from the match just minutes before it was scheduled to begin. People began to express their outrage by booing the sisters. From a fan’s perspective, you can imagine why the crowd was so upset. They spent their hard earned money to see a competitive tennis match.

As for Serena Williams, she went on to compete against Belgian tennis player Kim Clijsters. Serena was victorious in this match defeating Kim Clijsters in the finals. The audience got to see at least one of the Williams’ sisters’ play.

So you are probably thinking the audience should be satisfied. Wrong.

As Serena displays her trophy for everyone to see, the crowd continues to boo her as they did earlier. Why did Serena receive such harsh treatment? She wasn’t the one who bowed out of the match.

According to the crowd, they felt as though Venus refused to participate in the match against Serena because she was scared of being defeated by her. Granted Serena has come out on top a number of times in matches played against her older sister. But to say that that is the reason why Venus removed herself from the match is really an assumption, not a fact.

Due to the “bad behavior” of the crowd, the Williams’ sisters have not returned to the Indian Wells Masters Series Tournament in nine years. Obviously, they were highly offended by the actions of the crowd and felt as though they should not come back to play. Can you blame them?

The unfortunate thing about the whole situation is that athletes face this kind of thing on a frequent basis. Fans can get a little carried away sometimes when it comes to the language and gestures that they use towards the players. Some athletes merely brush it off and don’t think twice about the comments. But as for Venus and Serena Williams, that audience at Indian Wells has left a bad taste in their mouths. Whether or not they will return to Indian Wells has not been determined as of yet.

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