Serena Makes Indian Wells Return Tonight; Harrison Saves 2 MPs, Turns Away Fish
by Staff | March 13th, 2015, 9:13 am

In case you haven’t heard, tonight’s the night. After 14 years, World No. 1 Serena Williams returns to Indian Wells. The California native hasn’t played there since 2001 when as a 19-year-old with just one Slam, Serena beat the boos and beat Kim Clijsters in the final.

Serena was to play sisters Venus Williams in the semifinals, but when Venus withdrew minutes before the match, the crowd cried foul. And they didn’t forget when Serena walked on the court for the final. And when Venus and father Richard took their seats in the stands.

She’s now put the incident behind her, and she’s back.

“It was just a really good opportunity for me. It was time,” Williams said yesterday. “There wasn’t one thing that said I should come back in 2015 – I didn’t even know I’d still be playing this year.

“It was more or less just time. I just kind of felt it.

“I was taught when I was young to always forgive, and always try to look at the bigger picture, so to say,” Williams commented. “In order to forgive you have to be ready to let go of everything. I kind of let go a long time ago, but I still wasn’t at the point where I was ready to come back to Indian Wells. I think I was a little nervous as well. So trying to get over those nerves of coming back and how I feel, and thinking about what it’s going to be like – you have to let a lot of those emotions go.”

Serena will play tonight at 7pm local time against the unorthodox Monica Niculescu.

“I’m not here to focus on what happened in 2001,” she said. “I’m looking forward to stepping out on center court and letting the whole world know that it doesn’t matter about something that wasn’t right, or something that hurt you and hurt your family. You can come out and be strong and say, ‘I’m still going to be here, I’m still going to survive and I’m still going to be the best person that I can be.'”

Also playing, as the women’s seeds begin, are 2014 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep, Lucie Safarova and Angelique Kerber who faces Sloane Stephens.

The men finish their first round with Sam Querrey, Nick Kyrgios and Jack Sock featured. Sock is making his 2015 debut.

Yesterday, Mardy Fish made his first singles appearance in 18 months. But the comeback fell just short as Ryan Harrison saved two matchpoints to beat the former finalist 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(3).

“It felt great to be out there,” said Fish. “Those are the situations that you work hard to put yourself into. This is such a great event. I have great memories from 2008 here, on that court, so it felt fantastic to be out there.

“I’ve worked really hard to get back in shape so I don’t have any issues during a match or after a match. I worked extremely hard to put myself in the best position not to worry about things when I’m out there.”

Harrison saved 12 of 15 break point in the 2-hour, 36-minute match win.

“He’s a great athlete,” said Harrison who next meets Kei Nishikori. “He’s been out for a while, but he can still come out and play a really good match. I think it was nervy from both of us at times, but I’m just happy to be through.”

Juan Monaco, Tim Smyczek, Jurgen Melzer, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Marcos Baghdatis were winner.

STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – A. Riske (USA) vs [7] A. Radwanska (POL)
ATP – S. Querrey (USA) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
WTA – S. Stephens (USA) vs [13] A. Kerber (GER)
ATP – P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP)

Not Before 7:00 pm
WTA – [1] [WC] S. Williams (USA) vs M. Niculescu (ROU)
Not Before 8:30 pm
ATP – N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [WC] D. Kudla (USA)

STADIUM 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – A. Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [Q] F. Dancevic (CAN)
ATP – S. Johnson (USA) vs M. Granollers (ESP)
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
WTA – [WC] S. Vickery (USA) vs [26] V. Lepchenko (USA)
ATP – M. Youzhny (RUS) vs [Q] V. Hanescu (ROU)
ATP – R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / H. Kontinen (FIN) vs J. Isner (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)

You Might Like:
Fish Returns Thursday At Indian Wells; Sloane Leads American Advance
Serena, Sharapova Renew Rivalry Tonight at Stanford; Del Potro, Fish Highlight LA QFs
Why Did Serena Williams Return To Indian Wells?
Fish, Isner, Harrison Lead Americans into Atlanta QFs
Venus Williams Won’t Be Back At Indian Wells This Year

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50 Comments for Serena Makes Indian Wells Return Tonight; Harrison Saves 2 MPs, Turns Away Fish

Giles Says:

Serena looks like a tart in that swimsuit. Most unbecoming! :(

Jack Lewis Says:

That’s gonna hurt her feelings for sure…

Giles Says:


mat4 Says:

I’ll post here an answer to the last comments in a far away thread:

First, thank you, all and every one for your good wishes!

@Skeez: thanks. I have a nasty plan to find a gorgeous blonde and die the sweet death, but… difficult to find that blonde.

@Brando: You seem to genuinely love tennis, so, it doesn’t matter. We can always debate and disagree, while having a good relation. It is the rule on the Canadian blog where I write in French (

It is sometimes very difficult to write about what you feel that is going on in tennis with the commercialisation of the ATP, the big tournaments, the mighty sponsors, and, while we have outstanding champions, I feel that something has gone wrong. I would like everybody to ask questions, and all of us to try to answer to them. So you don’t believe that the draw in IW is fixed for Rafa, like the draw in MC is fixed for Novak? Let’s debate, give stats, have doubts. But, overall, I am certain that there is something rotten in the state of tennis for some time now.

If we can’t discuss it here, where can we?

About my fav: I wrote to you that it doesn’t matter — the important is that he fights with courage and determination. His time is coming to and end, and I am happy when I see him play well, whatever the result.


Dave was… a monster of his kind. I agree. I had a debate with him where I praised Rafa vs Borg, and barely got out of it alive.

Does anybody believe that I defended Rafa against Dave? I swear I did! :-)


No need to peel layers. It is much more pleasant when we try to make it pleasant. From your posts so far, you’ll be here for a long time.


You can’t compare me with TF76, who really knew tennis well, while I am just an amateur. And what about TennisLover (or something similar)? He wrote similarly to Grendel, was a pleasure to read. He was the guy destroying Dave with so few words, with légèreté…


Your opinion matters. Anyway, it was the answer to your question that started the previous discussion. So, what do you think was happening with Rafa last year?

James Says:

@mat4, sounds like I may have missed a good discussion on tennis.

I’m watching Steve Johnson vs Granollers match. Johnson won the first set 6-2 and leads the 2nd set 2-1. I feel like Davis Cup captain made a mistake in not selecting him to play against GB.

mat4 Says:


Nothing much. Usual stuff. Guess the thread is still alive, you can find the heated polemic right here in the little comment thread on the side.

jane Says:

first few minutes of nole’s press conference, he has good things to say about serena’s return, sport, even peace.

Hippy Chick Says:

IMO Serena looks bloody gorgeous,sexy womanly curves a healthy body image women should aspire to, and lovely long dark curly hair….

Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 i have to add Michael is one of the best male posters here too….

Hippy Chick Says:

Great presser from Nole,give peace a chance,enough prejudice in the world without bringing it into sport,i used to watch my favorite football team every weekend,and listening to some of the racist chanting made me cringe….

Brando Says:


Hi Matt, great post! Some thoughts:

– Re draw rigging and doping:

I just believe completely in the integrity of the sport and all the players. I just do not question it at all nor is their a seed of any doubt in my mind about that. Maybe it’s too……naively innocent I guess to think as such but that’s where I stand about the matter. A they are ‘innocent until proven guilty’ stance and in this case none of these guys have ever been questioned, investigated by anti doping bodies as a suspect case so I think we should show respect and believe them!

That said: whilst I disagree with your theories or perspective I appreciate the fact that you do provide reason, data and some argument for it and state your case in a intelligent, curious manner. And it’s good also to see some fans keep asking questions of the sport.

– Novak:

Ditto my thoughts about Rafa. Fight, play well and I am fulfilled as fan. All the rest is a bonus now.

I’ll be leaving for a while from the site so you take care of yourself, stay well and hopefully we’ll converse again down the line!


Jack Lewis Says:

“sexy womanly curves a healthy body image women should aspire to”
My god woman, why shouldn’t women just learn to accept their own bodies and limitations? If you’re not bootylicious, should you really aspire to become it? Talk about having pointless goals in life…

Markus Says:

Better than picking cocaine-chic reed thin ladies as a role model, I must say.

mat4 Says:

@alison, JL:

If Serena is sexy… with a body women should aspire to…

Venus is sexy, yes, like a gazelle. But the Big Lady? Come on, Alison, you can’t be serious. I would be afraid if I had to meet her in the evening in a quiet street. Rachel McLish, who was heavy weight champion of the world in body building looks like a schoolgirl compared to Serena.

The only woman who wants to look like Serena is the one that intends to beat the hell out of her husband…

mat4 Says:


There is an elementary misunderstanding between us, and it concerns statistics. There can be no statistical aberrations, because statistics takes even aberrations in account. But good stats, that gives predictive results, are considered like a proof in science.

Some stats are very difficult to calculate, some are not. The key is to take all the relevant factors in account, and there we usually make errors.

I wrote those stats before, and I will just sum up my findings, without checking my old posts here.

– In the period 2008-2011, Novak and Fed were in the same half of all the GS played on hard and on grass;

– Novak never landed in Rafa’s half in MC (Franulovic);

– Since 2008, Novak never landed in Rafa’s half in Rome (where he is the home favourite);

– Since Larry Alison bought IW, Rafa and Fed are always in the same half.

– The only time Soderling was ranked better than Murray, they landed in the same quarter.

– Isner-Mahut redux.

– Djokovic Wawrinka in the same quarter, then in the same half since their memorable match in 2013, in GS played on hard.

– Novak protected at the AO since 2012.

– The Williams sisters in different semis for years…

A good research work, and the list could grow, and grow. And from a certain point, it becomes proof.

jane Says:

mat4, speaking of numbers, you might like this article (check out the top ten stat):

mat4 Says:


I almost had the impression that Yolita and yourself wrote that article ;-)

mat4 Says:

Bodo made an error in this text: Novak didn’t win 7 of 13 slams, but 7 of 17 slams.

The top ten stats is glorious, when he take in account that he played 42-19 against the top 5 (69%), and 35-19 (65%) against other members of the “big four”.

Those are very good results indeed.

jane Says:

mat4, i thought of yolita too when i read it. :) yes, the top ten stat was the one that stood out for me as well.

Okiegal Says:

@mat4…..I don’t know who this Rachel McLish is, but my hubby’s distant cousin is Ronda Rousey the fighter. Check out some of her you tube videos. She might could take Serena on…..but not so sure if Serena could stuff a tennis ball down her throat……LOL

Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4/Jack Lewis the point i was making is as Markus said, IMO Serena is healthy with some meat on her bones,and if i had a daughter i would rather she aspired to someone like that, rather looking borderline anorexic which some of the women on tour do,theres absolutely nothing wrong with the way she looks,its a shame looks are so important in todays society,some of us women are bigger built,but i dont think we should be crucified for it though….

wilfried Says:

You’re intuition that draws are fixed at times is correct, but intuition is not the same as pure statistical proof, which is not so easy to give.
I’ve been looking for a long time at slam draws on the ATP-web site before finally find some irrefutable test results. The only statistical irrefutable proof that I ever found which every skilled statistician would reject as draws being composed in a random way, are those of Roland Garros.
Take a sample of the last 32 Roland-Garros draws: from 1983 till 2014 and check it yourself on the ATP-website: the 6th seed never got drawn – not even once – in 32 consecutive Roland Garros draws in the same quarter of the first seed, where – on average- he should found himself drawn once every 4 years in the same quarter of the first seed.
Everyone with some knowledge of hypothesis testing would, based on the test results, reject the hypothesis of the draws being composed in a random way at Roland Garros.
Looking at one draw can raise questions about the draw, but has nothing to do with statistics. You need a sample that’s big enough to be able to do the tests.
Many draws seem slightly fixed to me, but that’s just a feeling, not proof.
Take the case of Dominic Thiem. In Auckland 2015 he gets drawn in the first round against the only other german speaking player in the draw (32 players). A few weeks later, at the 500 event of Rotterdam, he gets drawn in the first round against Gulbis, who trains with him a lot and has the same coach. Dominic was “slightly” surprised himself and thought it was funny. I don’t think it is that funny, as he lost at the Auckland event.

Hippy Chick Says:

Oh and Jack Lewis,i dont have pointless goals in life,i lead a very happy life FYI,so i really resent the implication….

mat4 Says:


Rachel McLish was the first Miss Olympia, and the last champion not using steroids.

Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 ive never heard of her TBH,but i think body builders are a huge turn off male or female especially female yuck,i just dont think theres anything wrong with Serenas body type,or the others you mentioned,im small at 5 foot 3 but im not slim im quite round and chunky for someone whos quite small,it could be from the medication i take like thyroid replacement tablets which is also making my hair fall out,and also steroids for a bowel disease,which might also account for the mood swings and depression i suffer from,who knows we are just not all built the same or made to be slim unfortunatly?….

Hippy Chick Says:

Anyway my post was more in relation to what Giles said about Serena looking like a tart….

mat4 Says:

And there is more on the same facebook page.

But you can read this too:

Okiegal Says:


If women folk don’t look like a waspy willow…..they’re termed fat. I don’t get it. Everybody has something to say about a meaty woman.
:( And it’s never nice!!

mat4 Says:

@Okeigal, Alison:

Serena is not “meaty”. She’s not fat, in fact, her muscles are disproportionate. That’s why I refered to Rachel McLish. It was not a question of aesthetics.

Markus Says:

If Maryline Monroe were alive today, she’ll kill herself again because people will be calling her fat.

Markus Says:


Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 im not really sure what your getting at,the only thing ill say is Serena looks fine from where im standing??

Hippy Chick Says:

Markus i remember a couple of years ago on this very forum,1 poster saying to another that Wozniacki was too fat for Playboy,his words were she needs to lose a good twenty pound from her middle,and she has tree trunk thighs,Hefner wouldnt sanction it otherwise,god talk about shallow,seeing Caroline a few weeks ago in that modeling shoot,and all the compliments she got,well thing alot of men would be delighted if she did it….

MM was a screen goddess….

Giles Says:

Maybe Woz should thank Rory for her weight loss. She did have too much puppy fat on her before the break up.

Margot Says:

Oh lol, let’s start talking about “Lardy Mardy,” “Beefy Boy” Stan and “Ryan The Podge” shall we?

Hippy Chick Says:

^Or that certain players have the wrong body type,thats not made for tennis^….

jane Says:

i think it’s realistic to talk about tennis players’ bodies: height, weight, etc, *if we’re talking about its relation to performance*.

for example, physique, genetics, etc *can* impact movement, endurance, injury-liklihood, and so on.

so it’s not “wrong” and it’s not a taboo subject.

but when we venture into aesthetics, then it gets a little more dicey and can border on objectification, be it of a female or male.

(on the other hand, i do think a lot of the guys have great legs. ;))

Margot Says:

Yes but jane, women get subjected to endless scrutiny for the way they look/weigh/dress etc. Whereas men do not.

jane Says:

indeed margot, not to mention being asked to “twirl” ;)

Margot Says:

Lol. Lucky he didn’t get a tennis ball in his gob!

Hippy Chick Says:

Margot exactly,and your talking to one has low self esteem when it comes to her own body image….

Okiegal Says:

@Margot 3:02

I agree with you on the scrutiny of the ladies. The movie Shallow Hal was so true to how the majority of people really are. For the most part, it’s all about aesthetics.

@mat4….. Not meaning to be accusatory toward you, I will believe you on your word, because I think you are a stand up guy!! Serena has a lot of meat on her bones……but not one ounce of fat! She’s as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. When Serena gets all dolled up for a special occasion, I think she’s very attractive. She and her sister know how to dress and they always look sharp.

mat4 Says:


My true opinion about beauty (be it about men, or ladies): the beauty “from inside” is also what we most often see “outside”. To be charming is much more important than to be handsome, a smile attracts more than a pretty face.

But Serena indeed has not even one ounce of fat, and her muscles are huge! I lifted weights in my twenties for two years, I was 180 lbs then, and I never had such muscles.

Every time I see her on the court, to be fair, I get scared.

Okiegal Says:

@mat4……Scared like the foot fault lines person at USO? LOL. Yeah, I’ll let her have her way! :)

mat4 Says:


I don’t know. I would be probably more scared of Nalby, hopefully he retired. ;-)

Okiegal Says:

@mat4……Nalby….ummm…..Marat, if I were a guy….He always seemed to have a temper. Nalby might too, just don’t remember him as much.

Hippy Chick Says:

Mat4 like Okiegal,i wasnt actually been accusatory either,its just when it comes to body image,sometimes its a touchy subject for me,one poster reffered to Rafa fans as been overweight housewives,some of the many adjectives used to describe his fans….

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