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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 14:13 GMT
Serena blocks Indian Wells return
Serena Williams
Serena used the crowd hostility to her advantage in 2001
Australian Open winner Serena Williams has dismissed the possibility of a return to Indian Wells, following her unhappy experience there in 2001.

Serena and older sister Venus have boycotted the tournament since Serena was booed in the 2001 final.

"I've never felt like that before and I hope never to feel like that again. It would be really hard to walk back on that court," Serena said.

Tournament boss Ray Moore said he had done all he could to solve the problem.

Serena was booed during her 2001 defeat of Belgian Kim Clijsters following Venus' decision to pull out of an all-Williams semi-final citing injury.

The incident happened at the height of speculation that Venus and Serena's father Richard fixed matches between the sisters.

They refused to meet to even talk - it is their decision
Indian Wells tournament president Ray Moore

The Williams sisters have always denied that was the case.

"If anyone could be in my shoes, to be 19 years old and have a whole crowd jeer - I can't explain that feeling," said Williams.

"That was one place where apparently a lot of people didn't want to see me play."

Indian Wells directors say they have tried hard to resolve the Williams sisters' problems with the tournament.

Tournament president Ray Moore said: "We've done everything possible to sit down with them and discuss it and say, 'How can we make it right?'

"We actually even set up an official meeting (in Los Angeles in 2002). They cancelled it. I mean, refused to meet to even talk. It is their decision."

Tournament director Charlie Pasarell added: "We try to put on an event. We try to treat everybody fairly.

"By the way, it's not the only time that a tennis player has been booed. How about Martina Hingis at the French Open?"

Hingis was booed in the 1999 final against Steffi Graf in Paris when she broke down in tears and stormed off court at the end.

Pasarell added that he hoped the Williams sisters would compete again at the California event in future years.




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