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Venus Williams Considering a Return to Indian Wells?

Speaking to reporters in Miami, Venus Williams revealed that watching her sister return to Indian Wells earlier this month has caused her to soften her stance on returning to the tournament that she has not played since 2001.

Miami: Venus Williams Reaches Quarterfinals with Seventh Straight Win over Wozniacki

Here is a direct question and answer from her press conference today. Clearly, Venus is considering a return, at the very least:

Q. It has possibly softened your attitude, by the sounds of it.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I have heard so much about how much the tournament has just improved in general in terms of the fans and the players. So it will be something to see for me.

That wasn’t all Williams said about Indian Wells, and though she was somewhat non-committal about it, she didn’t deny that she is intrigued by the idea of ending her boycott. “Yeah, it was wonderful to see,” Williams said about her sister’s return. “I definitely watched every moment, and it was great to see her and my family there. Next year will be a big year for us being an Olympic year. I can't exactly say what my schedule will be, but it was wonderful to see her reception.”

Williams was asked again about Indian Wells near the conclusion of her press conference on Monday, at which point she opened up and said how proud she was of the way that Serena conducted herself. “I think really what Serena did and how she went about it was just awesome for me as a big sister to see, because I feel like usually I'm the big sister. I feel like in this instance she took the role of big sister. It was really nice. I love how, you know, we continue to protect each other no matter what. She did a fantastic job out there, even though she wasn't feeling her best."

Finally, Williams warned again that 2016 will be all about preparing for the Rio Olympics for her. She made it clear that whether she returns to Indian Wells or not will depend on how she elects to schedule events in order to be in the best shape to handle the added rigor and pressure that an Olympic year brings. “So I think it would be awesome to return, but I don't know what my schedule is next year,” she summarized. “It's going to be all around that.”