Serena still carries trauma of 2001 Indian Wells jeers | Inquirer Sports
Close  

Serena still carries trauma of 2001 Indian Wells jeers

/ 09:13 PM November 18, 2021

FILE PHOTO: Serena Williams of the United States (R) is hugged by her father Richard (top right) as sister Venus Williams waits her turn following Serena's 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory [over Kim Clijsters of Belgium] in the women's final match March 17, 2001 at the Tennis Masters Series in Indian Wells, California . All three Williams' were

FILE PHOTO: Serena Williams of the United States (R) is hugged by her father Richard (top right) as sister Venus Williams waits her turn following Serena’s 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory [over Kim Clijsters of Belgium] in the women’s final match March 17, 2001 at the Tennis Masters Series in Indian Wells, California.

Serena Williams says she is still traumatized by an experience at Indian Wells in 2001 when she was booed by the crowd after accusations she reached the final after her father, Richard, pulled sister Venus out of their semifinal clash.

Venus pulled out just before their semifinal match citing tendonitis – a day after Russian player Elena Dementieva said Richard Williams would “decide who’s going to win” – allowing Serena to advance and play Belgian Kim Clijsters in the final the following day.

ADVERTISEMENT

The crowd of nearly 16,000 fans booed 19-year-old Serena as well as Venus and Richard when they took their seats. Although Serena came from behind to win the title in three sets, she said she was in no mood to celebrate.

“I remember I was playing this infamous match at Indian Wells … That was a rough one for me,” Serena, 40, told Will Smith in a Red Table Talk interview ahead of the release of “King Richard” – a film about their father.

FEATURED STORIES

“It was so hard. I’ll never forget driving back … I remember just getting in the car and I was just bawling. I was at the gas station, there was no celebration and I was just crying and crying and crying.”

Serena did not return the following year to defend her title at the tournament that is sometimes called the “fifth major”, with the American boycotting the event until 2015.

“Even when I went back 14 years later, it was very traumatizing,” said Serena, a 23-times Grand Slam champion.

“Talk about post-traumatic stress and mental anxiety. I remember sitting in the bathroom thinking, ‘Wait, I’m not going to go back. I just don’t think I should do this. What if they start booing again?’ It was really hard for me.”

RELATED STORIES

Sibling rivalry: Serena beats Venus to take 31st meeting

Serena, Venus set up dream Australian Open final

Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Serena Williams, Venus Williams
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.