|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on March 2, 2016 at 12:25 AM|
Former No.1 Venus Williams published her thoughts on returning to the BNP Paribas Open for the first time in 15 years for the Players Tribune....
One month after she officially announced her intent to return to the BNP Paribas Open for the first time since 2001, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams wrote at length about her decision and close bond with her sister, World No.1 Serena Williams, in the Players Tribune.
"Being the big sister," she said, "I didn't take that responsibility lightly. I knew what she was going through - debuting as a professional tennis player, growing up in front of a camera, entering public life as a young black teenager - and I knew how hard that could be. And I knew how much I would have loved to have had a big sister on tour during my first year, and how much pride I took in the knowledge that my little sister had me. Serena always has me."
Venus and Serena had stayed away from Indian Wells for nearly 15 years following an ugly incident that left both sisters, who were still in the nascent stages of their careers at the time, feeling profoundly unwelcome in a sport they loved.
"I remember the pain of my knee injury, and how badly I wanted to play in the semis against Serena - before finally accepting that I wouldn't be able to. I remember the accusations toward me and my sister and our father. I remember the crowd's reaction, as I walked to my seat, during Serena's match in the final. And I remember how I couldn't understand why thousands of people would be acting this way - to a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old, trying their best.
"There are certain things where, if you go through them at a certain age, you simply don't forget them."
Serena's decision to come back last year led Venus, who has long fought against injustice - as evidenced by her work in engineering equal prize money at Wimbledon - to do some soul-searching of her own, inspired by her younger sister's choice to not only forgive, but to return to a place that had caused them both such pain.
"It was in that moment, seeing Serena welcomed with open arms last year at Indian Wells, that I think I fully and truly realized what being the big sister means. It means that, for all of the things I did first, and all of the times when I paved the way for Serena, the thing I can be most proud of is this time -- When Serena paved the way for me."
By : David Kane