After boycotting the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells for 14 years, Serena Williams’ comeback has been halted by a knee injury. Williams withdrew from the tournament in similar fashion to the way her sister Venus Williams did in 2001 but with a much different result.
“A couple days ago at practice, I really injured my knee,” Williams told fans during a press gathering. “Today I was struggling just to even walk.”
In 2001, Venus Williams withdrew from her match against Serena Williams 20 minutes before it was scheduled to begin. The decision brought boos from the crowd, and Venus and Serena’s father alleged he heard racial slurs from the crowd. Others also alleged Williams fixed the matches between his daughters, and the racist undertone of the accusations caused Serena to boycott Indian Wells after she defeated Kim Clijsters amid a rain of boos from the crowd.
Earlier this year, Williams decided to end the boycott and explained her rationale in a piece she wrote for Time magazine. Williams current injury has been diagnosed as a sprained knee. Despite hearing a small amount of boos from the crowd, Williams was welcomed with applause and signed autographs after announcing she would withdraw from the tournament.
Serena Williams is currently the world’s top-ranked player was to play third-seeded Simona Halep in the second semifinal.