Williams sisters to make Indian Wells appearance
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:33
Ever since the Williams sisters and their father, Richard Williams, claimed to have been on the receiving end of racial taunts at Indian Wells in 2001, the siblings have refused to play in the BNP Paribas Open tournament, now a Premier status event.
The Williams sisters claim that they suffered racial abuse by a Stadium Court audience that was incensed when, five minutes prior to the sisters semi-final clash, Venus withdrew due to injury.
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tours new 2009 Roadmap originally stated that any player who declined to play one of the four Premier events without a legitimate medical excuse which the top 10 players are required to play would be suspended for the next two Premier events. The sisters much-favoured hometown event (the Sony Ericsson Open, Miami) would fall into that ban.
However, new stipulations were put into place that any player declining to play an event for personal reasons would be allowed to do so as long as they perform promotional activities for the tournament.
A spokesman for the WTA has confirmed this to tennishead: Venus and Serena have indicated to the Tour that they intend to perform promotional activities in the tournament market as required by Tour rules in order to avoid suspension.
The details for the performance of those activities, and the specific activities that the sisters will be required to fulfil will be determined by the Tour in due course.