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court70
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:17 AM
No Changing the Williams Sisters' Minds

By PAUL OBERJUERGE
Published: March 19, 2009


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Erma Casey and Phyliss Carelock sat in $50 seats near the top of the stadium court at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on a bright afternoon. They conceded that it seemed like a high tariff to perch a half-dozen rows from the rim of the arena. "But it would have been 30 percent more without my senior citizen's discount," Casey confided.

.Like most of the fans at the BNP Paribas Open in the desert near Palm Springs, Casey and Carelock would have preferred to see Venus or Serena Williams playing in the women's quarterfinals Thursday on the court below. But they know the drill.

Venus and Serena don't do Indian Wells.

"I wish they were here," said Casey, an African-American from Los Angeles. "But I still come because I love tennis."

The most famous boycott in modern tennis goes on. The Williams sisters have not returned here since a celebrated incident in 2001. Venus, citing injury, pulled out of a semifinal match against Serena four minutes before it was scheduled to begin. The crowd booed that night and booed Serena again in the final. Their father, Richard, alleged racist taunts from the crowd. Father and daughters vowed never to return.

They have lived up to that promise, even as new WTA rules punish players who skip one of the tour's so-called mandatory events. The Williams sisters are sustaining injury to their world rankings, losing money from the bonus pool and must perform a day of tennis-related activity within 125 miles of Indian Wells -- or face a two-week suspension and a $75,000 fine.

They remain undeterred. And Indian Wells, perhaps the most important tournament in the world that isn't a Grand Slam, goes on without them.

"Something is missing," said Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 17-year-old semifinalist from Russia. "With them, it's more of a show and there is more interest and a lot of big fights and good matches."

The tournament director, Steve Simon, makes certain that the Williams sisters, currently ranked Nos. 1 (Serena) and 5 (Venus) in the world, know they are welcome back at any time.

"We've made it clearly known, and will continue to, that we would love to have the girls back and we think the fans would love to have them back as well. In fact, we know they do," Simon said. "We will continue to make sure that message is with them and, hopefully, there will be a day they decide they want to play."

Not that anyone holds out much hope for a rapprochement as Venus, 28, and Serena, 27, approach the twilight of their careers. Venus Williams this month told the news media in New York that she did not anticipate returning to Indian Wells.

Indian Wells officials will not grovel, Simon said, to bring them back. "I've never begged or pleaded for any player to be here," he said. "I want people to play here because they feel good about being here."

Until 2001, Indian Wells and the Williams Sisters were good together. The tournament extended wild cards to the sisters when they were teenage prodigies living in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. "Serena won twice and Venus had some great successes here, too," said Simon, who has been with the tournament for two decades. "This was a good tournament for them."

Seventeen of the world's top-20 ranked women played here this year, Simon said, the exceptions being the Williams sisters and the injured Maria Sharapova. "No one player makes the difference between success and failure," Simon said, citing record attendance of 331,000 in 2008 and the potential for similar numbers this year, "even in this economy."

But the women's competition has been less than scintillating. Jelena Jankovic and Elena Dementieva crashed out early. The top-seeded Dinara Safina, two victories away from supplanting Serena Williams as the world No. 1, melted down against the 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals.

The semifinalists are the defending champion, Ana Ivanovic, and the lesser-known Vera Zvonareva, Azarenka and Pavlyuchenkova.

But the tournament steams ahead, buoyed by keen competition on the men's side. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martín del Potro and Andy Roddick, six of the top seven seeds, reached the final eight.

" I think everyone would like to see the William sisters play in every tournament because they are great for the crowd " Zvonareva said. " They bring great atmosphere. But there are so many great players out there"

duhcity
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:22 AM
Is there a need to post every single article about this issue in GM?

People support them. People don't. This has been argued millions of times with points on both sides.
Lets talk about their tennis, their longevity, their story or whatever else.

I swear some of you take the boycott more seriously than the actual WS do.

Bounty Hunter
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:28 AM
I can't wait for next week ...whew... no more IW threads... :lol:

Cakeisgood
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:29 AM
Is there a need to post every single article about this issue in GM?

People support them. People don't. This has been argued millions of times with points on both sides.
Lets talk about their tennis, their longevity, their story or whatever else.

I swear some of you take the boycott more seriously than the actual WS do.

Preach, preach. :worship::worship::worship:

Slammer7
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:34 AM
Is there a need to post every single article about this issue in GM?

People support them. People don't. This has been argued millions of times with points on both sides.
Lets talk about their tennis, their longevity, their story or whatever else.

I swear some of you take the boycott more seriously than the actual WS do.

I agree. I just wish the media would let it go too, maybe next year with the routine already established and no new developments it will finally die down. I just think there are too many people who can make money and get attention by bringing it up every year. Larry Scott should have left this alone because nothing has changed and we have gone through all this SH*T anyway.

I can't wait for next week ...whew... no more IW threads... :lol:

Not until a couple of days after the Williams and LS have their pre-tournament press conferences.

BlameSerena
Mar 21st, 2009, 03:38 AM
I agree. I just wish the media would let it go too, maybe next year with the routine already established and no new developments it will finally die down. I just think there are too many people who can make money and get attention by bringing it up every year. Larry Scott should have left this alone because nothing has changed and we have gone through all this SH*T anyway.



Not until a couple of days after the Williams and LS have their pre-tournament press conferences.

:worship:
That's the freakin' problem. The media stirs it up more than the fans, and certainly 10 times more than Venus or Serena. They were ready to move on weeks after the event. It's been 8 years. Same shit, different year. This roadmap mandatory crap puts a new, biased spin on it. Just wait until the 10 year anniversary of this boycott. There will be round the clock coverage of why the WS are not playing an event.

Seriously, if the biggest press coming out of an event is about two players who choose not show up than about those who do, then what does that say about the players there and the event itself?
:yawn:

danieln1
Mar 21st, 2009, 04:02 AM
Miami please... enough of this talk, Ana would take the title with or without the sisters here! :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

Slammer7
Mar 21st, 2009, 04:16 AM
Miami please... enough of this talk, Ana would take the title with or without the sisters here! :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

The same AI that is 1-7 against the WS? I like Ana, but come on.

:worship:
That's the freakin' problem. The media stirs it up more than the fans, and certainly 10 times more than Venus or Serena. They were ready to move on weeks after the event. It's been 8 years. Same shit, different year. This roadmap mandatory crap puts a new, biased spin on it. Just wait until the 10 year anniversary of this boycott. There will be round the clock coverage of why the WS are not playing an event.

Seriously, if the biggest press coming out of an event is about two players who choose not show up than about those who do, then what does that say about the players there and the event itself?
:yawn:

What do you get for the 10th anniversary fine china, crystal, dinnerware or is it jewelry?:lol:

PizzaMan
Mar 21st, 2009, 07:33 AM
The tournament director, Steve Simon, makes certain that the Williams sisters, currently ranked Nos. 1 (Serena) and 5 (Venus) in the world, know they are welcome back at any time.

"We've made it clearly known, and will continue to, that we would love to have the girls back and we think the fans would love to have them back as well. In fact, we know they do," Simon said. "We will continue to make sure that message is with them and, hopefully, there will be a day they decide they want to play."


:rolleyes:
Sure, that's why IW refuses to display Serena's championship banners.

Roookie
Mar 21st, 2009, 07:47 AM
The surely were missed this year. It seems like when the Williams are around players try a little harder. So far this is probably the worst tournament in ages.

Dodoboy.
Mar 21st, 2009, 09:20 AM
There should be a WIllIAMS SISTERS INDIAN WELLS subforum! :inlove:

Human Nature
Mar 21st, 2009, 09:37 AM
You could post this article in the "WS'fined" .

Slutiana
Mar 21st, 2009, 09:46 AM
Lol Dodoboy, I have a feeling it would be the forum with the most threads in it for sure. :lol:

Lindsayfan32
Mar 21st, 2009, 10:36 AM
Might have something to with the tennis being so boring at Indian wells there nothing left to talk about. There will be new developments next year when the Williams sisters get suspended from the Miami tournament and the following week. :)

bandabou
Mar 21st, 2009, 10:54 AM
Attendance is up, guaranteed of a new white champ that certainly will get her poster displayed.. so why all the talk about the WS?

Who NEEDS them anyway? Good bye and good riddance!

serenus_2k8
Mar 21st, 2009, 12:00 PM
This tournament director is an absolute arsehole. Why is he trying to take the moral high ground claiming he wont grovel, when he never even freaking apologised to them. It makes me sick to think of the paycheck a scummy moron like him will be taking home with him after this fortnight :help:

Dodoboy.
Mar 21st, 2009, 12:06 PM
Does anyone know when the WS first said they would no longer go back to IW? I just finished watching the final so i am really interested. Venus looked like she was saying it to Serena straight after the match :lol: