651 matches later, Serena returns to Indian Wells courts

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How long has Serena Williams been absent from Indian Wells? Fourteen years! That’s a long time! But, believe me, I can make it seem even longer! Read on.

651 and 55! What’s that? Well, that’s the number of matches and WTA titles Serena has won since last playing Indian Wells, back in 2001. What? Is that like five lifetimes? Well, in Serena’s case it’s 14 years.

Anyways, the little Williams sis is back at the tournament, now the first Premier Mandatory WTA stop of the season, and just hours ago the tennis legend hit Stadium 1 for a morning practice session with coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Serena Williams with Patrick Mouratoglou - first Indian Wells practice

And here’s a Vine clip Serena’s practice:


Before Serena said she would never play Indian Wells again, she won the title twice, in 1999 and 2001, and her win-loss record at the tournament is a stunning 14-1. This year, after a first-round bye, Serena will face Monica Niculescu, who is aware that she will have to “run a lot” in her first meeting with the always-winning Serena.

Serena Williams - Indian Wells practice session

After the practice, there was a press conference and Serena said:

I felt like it was time. There wasn’t one thing that told me to come.

And, by the way, I’m a sucker for this tournament’s setting!

Indian Wells tennis tournament aerial photo

(photos via BNP Paribas Open Twitter)


14 thoughts on “651 matches later, Serena returns to Indian Wells courts

  1. Emman Damian

    Forgiveness and Acceptance – these are two words Serena did after 14 years. It will be a great comeback for her. Considering Maria is neck to neck with her in the rankings, she needs extra points (extra trophy too) to solidify her spot on top. I believe Serena will win Indian Wells again this year. She might even pull an IW-Miami double.

  2. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, even after all these years Serena is still the favorite for the title. She’s a living legend!

  3. Jim

    Can’t wait to see the reception Serena gets. Hope she gets a standing ovation as she enters the court. And yes, the tournament setting is breathtaking!

  4. tenniz-fan

    This is awesome. She brings that extra excitement to what is expected to be a super tournament.

    I love IW, it’s one of my fave tournaments of the year. Would love to go there one day, it’s very high up on my tennis bucket list!

  5. Marija Post author

    And by the way, Serena’s hitting partner in IW, now that Sascha is working with Vika, is Robbye Poole, an American who played tennis for Ole Miss. ATP career high of No. 414. I got that info on Twitter, via Ben Rothenberg.

  6. Marija Post author

    Ga, I don’t know why she would change, but Ben Rothenberg is a reputable source of information.

  7. Ga

    Oh yes, Ben is a great news source! But Serena was so pleased with the hitting partner she had in Australia, and that guy seemed like the only reason she would split with bigsash. But now she doesn’t even have the guy in Australia or sash! I hope she’s making decisions that will help her career

  8. Ga

    That’s a good read! And it does clear things up a bit. Doesn’t sound like there’s any hard feelings between them, which is good!

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