Venus Williams agrees to end Indian Wells boycott


Venus Williams will end her Indian Wells boycott in March to play in the tournament along with her sister Serena for the first time in 15 years.

The seven-time grand-slam champion has snubbed the tournament in California since unsavoury incidents involving her family back in 2001.

Serena was booed by the crowd when she played Kim Clijsters in the 2001 Indian Wells final, while Venus and their father Richard were also jeered as they took their seats for that match.

Richard Williams claimed he heard racial abuse and the Williams sisters refused to play in the tournament until world number one Serena agreed to enter last year.

Venus has now opted to join her younger sister in the 2016 edition, which will be staged from March 7-20.

Indian Wells Tennis Garden chief executive, Raymond Moore said: "We are thrilled that Venus Williams, one of the greatest women's players in the history of the game, is returning to play in the BNP Paribas Open.

"Our fans embraced Serena last year, and we expect nothing less for Venus when she returns to compete at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden."

Simona Halep will return to defend her title, while Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are among other star names confirmed to feature in the women's singles.

Novak Djokovic will be out to retain his men's singles title, while Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will also play in a star-studded Indian Wells line-up.