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“Everyone knows that’s not a true statement”: When Serena Williams denied claims of father Richard ‘arranging’ Venus Williams’ Indian Wells withdrawal

Serena Williams once denied the claims that her father, Richard, orchestrated Venus Williams’ controversial withdrawal from the 2001Indian Wells Open.
That year, Venus and Serena Williams both delivered impressive campaigns at the WTA 1000 event, setting the stage for a blockbuster semifinal showdown. However, mere minutes before their match, Venus pulled out of the tournament due to tendonitis, leaving the spectators immensely disappointed.

 

 

Speculation soon swirled among fans about their father Richard orchestrating Venus’ withdrawal to bolster Serena’s chances of winning the title, with Elena Dementieva’s allegations regarding the same adding fuel to the fire. After receiving a walkover from her sister, Serena Williams took on Kim Clijsters in the final, clinching a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory. However, her triumph was overshadowed by racist abuse directed at her and at Venus and Richard Williams during the match. Venus and Serena Williams then boycotted the WTA 1000 event from 2002 onwards, until Serena made a return to the tournament in 2015, with Venus following suit in 2016.

 

 

Ahead of her opening match at the 2015 Indian Wells Open, Serena Williams firmly stated her intention to move on from the 2001 incident, emphasizing her unwavering integrity as the only statement she would
offer.

“Like I said, I’m not here to focus on what happened in 2001. I can say that I was a teenager. I have a tremendous amount of integrity from the day I stepped out on the court professionally until today. Yeah, that’s all I’ll say about that,” Serena said in her pre-tournament press conference.

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