Unwarranted withdrawals detrimental to the integrity of the game

Venus and Serena have been long-standing WTA Tour fixtures. But since a much-publicized incident involving alleged racism at Indian Wells, the siblings have boycotted the event. If their self-imposed exile continues next year under a new set of rules, harsh penalties may be awaiting.

Updated: March 20, 2008, 12:02 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

INDIAN Wells, Calif. -- Strolling around the sumptuous grounds here at the Pacific Life Open, you are constantly confronted by tennis royalty. Rafael Nadal and Daniela Hantuchova, the 2007 champions, are portrayed in life-sized photographs outside the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Maria Sharapova (2006) and Roger Federer (2004-06) are also among those represented.

As former champions they enjoy an additional perk. Under the 16,100-seat stadium, tucked inside the ...

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