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.
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.
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.