Fri, Mar 30, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Serena defies rules, scorns Indian Wells

AP , KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA

Serena Williams says her boycott of the Indian Wells tournament will continue, despite new WTA Tour rules making participation mandatory.

Williams and her sister Venus last played in the California tournament in 2001, when the family was jeered after Venus withdrew just before a semi-final match against Serena.

Their father, Richard, said the jeers were racially motivated.

"I can guarantee you the chances of getting me to Indian Wells are slim to none, unless -- I'm not going to go back. I have no interest in going. It's just how I feel. And I think anyone that went through what I went through would feel a similar position," Serena Williams said on Wednesday after winning her quarter-final match at the Sony Ericsson Open.

The new WTA Tour rules were announced on Tuesday and take effect next year. They require players to participate in four events -- Indian Wells, Key Biscayne and new tournaments in Madrid and Beijing. Top-10 players who miss mandatory tournaments will be subject to suspensions and larger fines than in the past.

When the new rules were announced by Larry Scott, chief executive officer of the WTA Tour, he said there would be no exceptions.

"This is a system that's designed for the future and hopefully long into the future, and it won't be designed around any individual player," Scott said.

"I'm very sensitive to some of the concerns that Venus and Serena have had with Indian Wells. I've discussed this with both of them, and I think they understand that we can't design a system around individual issues that players have," he said.

Serena Williams said she needed to "have a sit-down and powwow with Larry Scott, because we haven't had a chance to talk about it."

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