Venus Williams has withdrawn from the U.S. open due to Sjogren’s Syndrome. Just a few days ago it looked like the former best tennis player on earth was on her way back to the top. Less than an hour before Wednesday’s second-round match against Wimbledon semifinalist Sabine Lisicki – which was considered the most anticipated match of this young tournament, the unexpected announcement was made.
So where does Venus go from here? Her future definitely seems in doubt. At age 31 time is no longer on her side as it has been in past years. Many are left wondering whether or not the phenom will ever be a major factor in the world of women’s tennis again.
Venus Williams released this statement:
“I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from this year’s U.S. Open. I have recently been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which is an ongoing medical condition that affects my energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain.”
The syndrome destroys the glands that produce tears and saliva and can affect the kidneys, lungs and blood vessels. The body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Complications – although rare, can include kidney failure, lymphoma and pulmonary infection. Of the 4 million Americans who are afflicted with the condition, nine out of 10 are women.
This is a sad day for the world of tennis. One of the best players to ever grace the court may not be able to go out on her terms. This has to be hard. Hopefully she still has some tennis ahead of her, but right now it does not look good for Williams.