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Serena Williams withdraws from Indian Wells

Posted on 11/02/2014 in Tennis

Serena Williams has confirmed she will not be making her return to Indian Wells this year.

The world number one hasn't played at the BNP Paribas Open since 2001 and announced her withdrawal for the high-profile event on Friday (February 7th).

Williams has suffered from a back problem which has prevented her from playing at next week's Qatar Open, but neither her or her sister Venus have set foot on the court at Indian Wells since they were heckled and, allegedly, racially abused.

"We are disappointed that Serena has withdrawn from the 2014 BNP Paribas Open," tournament director Steve Simon said. "We wish her the very best of luck in the year ahead and hope that she will decide to play here next year."

The California event is one of the few joint ATP-WTA tournaments and starts on March 3rd. It will features the world's best players minus Williams and offer up plenty of ranking points ahead of the summer's grand slams.

Who will triumph now there is no Serena? If you want a bet, check out out WTA odds.