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Expat
Jul 6th, 2008, 11:43 PM
July 05, 2008
Settlement in the Williams-Indian Wells hassle?
> Posted by Charles Bricker at 5:09:21 PM

WIMBLEDON, England -- Only one Williams sister could walk away from today's single final a winner, but both Venus and Serena may have won another victory together, and I don't mean the Wimbledon doubles.

Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, sounds as if he's found a way of avoiding a major, major confrontation with the Williamses over the family's continuing problem with the tournament at Indian Wells.

Here's the background first:

In 2001, father Richard Williams complained of racism when fans there booed the sisters after Venus, claiming injury, pulled out of a much-advertised semifinal against her sister. The Williamses said they would never again play Indian Wells, and haven't.

Then, last year, the WTA passed its Road Map 2009, a major part of which requires top 10 players to play the tour's four most important non-Grand Slam events, which include Indian Wells, followed almost immediately by Key Biscayne.

Any player that didn't play one of these "golden four" tournaments without a sufficient medical excuse would be suspended from the next one.

Wham! That not only burned the Williams family but Butch Buchholz, tournament chairman of the Sony Ericsson Open on Key Biscayne. The Williams sisters are a major drawing card and he didn't want them suspended from his tournament.

Richard Williams threatened to sue if his daughters were suspended for not showing at Indian Wells and Scott went to work trying to find a compromise. He thinks he has it.

He announced today that players can decline to play one of the four big events for any reason IF they agree to do major publicity work for the tournament they miss. That's a good start, but I can't see the Williams plugging Indian Wells, a place they hate. So the next step might be to allow them to do the publicity without directly mentioned Indian Wells or showing up there.

Nothing is fully refined yet, but it sounds as if the Williamses (or any other player who declines to play one of the four big tournaments) could do the publicity anywhere in the tournament's "publicity circumference," which is gauged at 125 miles. That means they could do it from Los Angeles.

But would they have to mention Indian Wells? "Hi, I'm Venus Williams and I'd like to urge you to get out to the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells next week." That ain't gonna happen. First of all, I can't see Venus or Serena saying anything positive about Indian Wells. Second, why would the Pacific Life Open want someone who isn't going to be there plugging the event?

So I asked an official of the WTA if it's possible the Williamses could satisfy their publicity requirement by just doing generic publicity for the tour prior to the Indian Wells event.

For example: "This is (fill in Indian Wells official's name) with the Pacific Life Open. Play starts here on Wednesday with eight of the top 10 women in the world." Cut to, Venus and Serena Williams: "Hi, you're going to love women's tennis." Or something else equally innocuous that doesn't reference Indian Wells.

Could they do something like that and still satisfy the new policy and not be suspended from Key Biscayne? The answer I'm getting is that the WTA is still fine-tuning the policy. But if they're trying to avoid a confrontation, even a legal confrontation, with the Williams family, they appear to be on the right track.

The only thing I see that could knock this strategy off track is complaints from other players that the WTA is prostituting what would have been a very strong "must play" policy so that the Williamses won't have to play.

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_tennisblog/2008/07/settlement-in-t.html

Pureracket
Jul 6th, 2008, 11:47 PM
All Williams All The Time!

kiwifan
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:00 AM
Isn't it time to start looking towards the Olympics now?

We all know the WTA is going to have to give in on the Indian Wells issue.

Olympics and US Open time. :angel:

hacberto
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:34 AM
Great, Wta Tour don't want to go to court against 2 of their best stars.

sipnsurfMurph
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:47 AM
"I can't see the Williams plugging Indian Wells ........."

Me too.

sky20748
Jul 7th, 2008, 10:55 AM
Who The Heck Wants To Play A Tournament Where You Were Disrespected.its Not Just About The Williams Sisters.its For Any Tennis Player I Feel.male Or Female.if You Play At A Tournament And Your Visibly Disrespected Then No No Player Should Return And Have To Endure That Memory.

WF4EVER
Jul 7th, 2008, 11:35 AM
I bet the Williamses would rather retire from tennis than go to IW again.

They are obviously not the ones losing sleep over ways to sort this out.

In The Zone
Jul 7th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Venus and Serena would promote the WTA Tour but not Indian Wells. We'll probably seeing them avoiding using the words: "Indian" and "Wells". Good compromise, I guess. But so vague it could get abused.

Vlover
Jul 9th, 2008, 01:40 PM
I'm sure LVD will be very unhappy to hear this as s/he is one of those who wants revenge.:lol: It is so entertaining to watch with every Williams victory the Williams Envy club goes wild with their continuous self proclaim theories and justifications as to why these victories should not be valid.:lol:

It is sad that some Americans will only be cheering for half of the American team at the Olympics.:tape:

Serenita
Jul 9th, 2008, 01:57 PM
I finish reading; Mohammad Ali the greatest. Great book by the way.
And Ali went trough this same shit, and you would have thought that USA has change. But it's very sad that this is going to happen to black athlete's in there own country!

don't get all your panties wet! i'm not sayin all Americans are racist but for a big tourny as Wells you will have wonder why there is so much hate for the own countrywoman. I guess The sistes rather play in Achbachisistan then Wells.
And i don't blame them.

tennnisfannn
Jul 9th, 2008, 02:09 PM
Didn't Maria miss this year's miami with no consequence, it is going to be impossible to enforce that rule.

In The Zone
Jul 9th, 2008, 02:12 PM
I finish reading; Mohammad Ali the greatest. Great book by the way.
And Ali went trough this same shit, and you would have thought that USA has change. But it's very sad that this is going to happen to black athlete's in there own country!

don't get all your panties wet! i'm not sayin all Americans are racist but for a big tourny as Wells you will have wonder why there is so much hate for the own countrywoman. I guess The sistes rather play in Achbachisistan then Wells.
And i don't blame them.

I feel that they recognize that certain people aren't the best indication of an area as a whole. I think the issue was how the Indian Wells director and tournament staff handled the situation when it first happened. They did not help Serena, did not do anything to the hecklers, etc. Whereas if you look at Miami in 07, Miami took care of it right away and banned the guy.

Also, the crowd that one day was SO full of hecklers that little could have been done. (Have to play devil's advocate). However, to expect Serena and Venus to relive that nightmare is outlandish. Simply because some dollar signs and some zeros make Indian Wells more important to the tour does not mean it erases the memories and horrors from the Williams Sisters' minds.

And the suspension rule isn't a concern for just them -- it's a concern for all mandatory tournaments. They do not want to lose the Williams Sisters, especially Miami. They will promote the WTA Tour in exchange for missing Indian Wells.

jonny84
Jul 9th, 2008, 02:17 PM
Erm might have read this wrong but isn't it fruitless for a player to promote a tournament that they are not directly involved in? Doesn't really make sense. They should promote a tournament they are in, so Venus and Serena could plug Miami instead.

Dawn Marie
Jul 9th, 2008, 04:11 PM
I don't think tournaments should be mandated. If you want to play then you do if u don't then it should't be a problem.

MrSerenaWilliams
Jul 9th, 2008, 05:09 PM
Didn't Maria miss this year's miami with no consequence, it is going to be impossible to enforce that rule.

Maria went to the players' party.

ladydiana
Jul 9th, 2008, 05:24 PM
I don't blame ole man Williams. I watched that match and it was down right racism and wrong.

They jeered Serena on every point whether it was good or bad and she was just a teen/kid. It was Venus who had the injury and couldn't play. Serena was still out there playing and she went on and won despite the crowd treating her wrong. I watched it with my mother and both of us were mad because they would NOT have done that to anyone else but the Willamses.


Venus and Serena do not have to kiss anyones azz, nor use their fame to make Indian Wells richer in advertisement and ticket sells. Hell, they didn't want a Williams to win so why should they benefit from their fame and prestige. Let the tournament organizers get out there and hustle and sell their own blasted tickets and leave Serena and Venus alone.


Let them get Maria to sell tickets and advertising. Oops I forgot, no one can stand to hear her loud screaming on the courts.

Fingon
Jul 9th, 2008, 05:43 PM
All Williams All The Time!

never been a Williams fan but I am behind them 100% on this.

It was obvious from the beginning that the supremely stupid idea of suspending players from the next tournament wasn't going to work because of this. It would screw up Miami which is the main reason why the mandatory tournaments were impossed in the first place, not only because of the Williams but other players, (why can't I have her just because she didn't play Madrid?) but with the Williams sisters, besides being a major draw for Miami, it was known for someone with 1 neuron cell (not Larry) that was going to happen.

Go V and S, don't settle, you have the power on this. If you can't play Miami because of Larry stupid rules, Miami will kick Larry in the ass, end of story.

I wish other players did the same.

Slutiana
Jul 9th, 2008, 05:52 PM
Very interesting. I remember in all those argument threads someone saying that they should do an exhibition at the time the tournament is going on however, isn't that taking away some possible in possible interest from the tournament if they do anything within the 125m?

MrSerenaWilliams
Jul 9th, 2008, 06:02 PM
OMG! :drool: They should TOTALLY do a RR exo the weekend before IW in LA somewhere. That'd be PERFECT!