Venus Williams has boycotted the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells since 2001 but said she may follow her younger sister Serena's lead and return to the event next year.

Serena competed in the tournament earlier this month for the first time since a 2001 final that was marred by the behaviour of spectators who booed and heckled the American and her family.

The reaction was in apparent response to Venus having withdrawn from that year's semi-final versus Serena just minutes before the match, citing injury.

"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," Venus, 34, said after beating Caroline Wozniacki to reach the Miami Open quarter-finals.

Serena received a standing ovation at the start of her first match back at Indian Wells where she reached the semi-finals before withdrawing due to a knee problem.

Venus said she was delighted to see how her sister handled the return and the response she received from the crowd.

"It was wonderful to see. I definitely watched every moment, and it was great to see her and my family there," said Venus.

"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."

In 2001, spectators at Indian Wells booed Serena during the final and jeered her sister and father Richard Williams when the pair arrived to watch the match.

Richard Williams alleged he had heard racist taunts. "As I said I think the tournament's amazing. I also said next year is an Olympic year, so my whole focus is on trying to get to the Olympics," said Venus.

"It would be awesome to return, but I don't know what my schedule is next year. It's going to be all around that."

Serena, 33, welcomed the notion of her sister heading back to the California tournament.

"She would get a wonderful welcome, I would think," Serena said after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the last-eight in Miami.

"We will see how the schedule works out for her and for me both."

Tags: