Venus Williams spoke about the inspiration she received from her sister Serena Williams to return to Indian Wells.
The 7-time Grand Slam champion revealed that her younger sister was the factor that allowed her to come back to Indian Wells. In 2001, the sisters were supposed to face each other in the semifinals of the WTA 1000 tournament held in California, but prior to the match, Venus had to withdraw due to tendinitis, granting Serena a spot in the final.
Following Venus's decision, both sisters faced racist insults from some fans, even after Serena defeated Kim Clijsters in the final. Despite it being their home state, the Williams sisters did not return to the tournament until 2015 when the 23-time Grand Slam champion made her appearance again.
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As for Venus Williams, she made her comeback in 2016, influenced by her sister, as she mentioned in an Instagram Q&A session:
“Serena was definitely my motivation to return to Indian Wells. I wouldn’t have done that without her so. I’m so glad, though. Because it’s amazing playing in California, where I’m from, it’s awesome playing in the States too. There’s nothing like playing where you’re from. So I thank her a lot for that,” Venus said.
“Although, I haven’t got a chance to play in so long!” she wrote.