It was nasty and it developed into blatant racism. Now, eight years after the crowd booed Serena Williams’s victory over Kim Clijsters in the women’s final at Indian Wells, the sisters remain notable by their absence this week, as they have been since 2001. But this year they will be back, if only briefly, Venus in July and Serena, the world No1, in October.
The healing of the rift between the tournament, one of the most prestigious in women’s tennis, and the Williams family is essentially no nearer to being resolved but, with the WTA having implemented new rules for this year, with such top tournaments “mandatory”, a compromise had to be reached to avoid the embarrassing and damaging suspension of the two best women players in the world.
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