After vowing never to return to the event, tournament officials revealed that world No. 1 Serena Williams has been placed on the entry list for the BNP Paribas Open this year in Indian Wells. This marks the first time in 12 years that either of the Williams sisters take part in the tournament.
Older sister Venus was not on the entry list.
The Williams sisters chose to boycott the event following the 2001 semi-finals, where Venus and Serena were scheduled to meet for a spot in the finals. After Venus withdrew 20 minutes before the match, fans in the arena booed both athletes, at which point they decided never to return to the event.
Serena has hinted at a possible return to the event during the Australian Open, after watching a movie about the late South African President Nelson Mandela, and became inspired by his message of reconciliation.
Also entered on the women’s side were No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, No. 3 Maria Sharapova, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova.