INDIAN WELLS • Venus Williams finally made peace with Indian Wells on Friday by ending her 15-year boycott of the hard-court tennis tournament, but her return lasted only one match as sister Serena looked poised for a long run after a dominant win at the BNP Paribas Open.
Venus returned to the event for the first time since 2001, after being heckled by fans during her previous trip, but made a quick exit after a 4-6, 3-6 loss to Japanese qualifier Kurumi Nara in the second round.
The incident occurred 15 years ago when Venus withdrew from a semi-final with Serena, drawing ire from the crowd aimed at the Williams family.
This time, though, the American was greeted warmly by the 7,000-strong crowd before and throughout her match, a consolation for her poor performance.
"It was enough of a fairy tale to come here and play. It is time to move on and let the past be the past. When I was out there I didn't think back. It was a long time ago," Venus said. "A win would have been nice, but that means I have to come back, play next year."
Serena had no such issues with German opponent Laura Siegemund in a 6-2, 6-1 romp.
The world No. 1 had already reconciled with the event last year when she ended her own boycott and took a little over an hour to advance. "My intensity was key. I knew if I didn't start fast it was going to be a long match," she said.
Serena advances to the third round where she will face unseeded Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
In earlier action, third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska prevailed in a three-set thriller in her opening 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win against Dominika Cibulkova while defending champion Simona Halep made easy work of Vania King in a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova needed a third-set tie-breaker to defeat Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5).
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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