Serena Williams the latest star sitting out Indian Wells
The BNP Paribas Open was already operating at a major marquee deficit, but Tuesday No. 1-ranked Serena Williams added to the tournament’s miseries.
Williams withdrew without even stepping on the court, becoming the fourth multi-Grand Slam singles titlist to sit this one out.
With the abrupt retirement of Ana Ivanovic on the cusp of the new year, there are 10 active women’s players who know what it feels like to hoist a Grand Slam singles trophy. Only seven of them have done it multiple times. Only three are in the field at Indian Wells: Venus Williams (7) No. 1 seed Angelique Kerber and No. 7 Svetlana Kuznetsova, who both have two.
Four of that elite class will be missing in action — for very different reasons.
In a statement, Serena said a left knee injury — which first surfaced at last year’s US Open — has prevented her from training properly.
Maria Sharapova is still serving a 15-month drug ban, Azarenka, the defending champion, is the mother of a 2-month-old baby boy, and Petra Kvitova is recovering from stab wounds she suffered during a home burglary.
“For Azarenka, it’s a joyous occasion,” Shriver said. “For Kvitova, your heart aches for her. Sharapova — it’s just so disappointing. That should have been within her control.
“Missing these multiple major winners, you look at the field at Indian Wells, and it demonstrates the strength of women’s tennis. Hopefully, those champions all come back soon.”
Here’s a look at the other top stars who are missing in action and what to expect from each:
The five-time Grand Slam champion will be the first one back in action, beginning on April 26, at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, an event she has won three times. It’s the first of three wild cards, preceding Madrid and Rome, she has been granted.
Sharapova will have just turned 30. Of note, Serena has won an astounding…