Venus Williams pulls out of US Open with illness - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Venus Williams pulls out of US Open with illness

Posted: Updated:
Venus Williams, of the United States, pumps her first after defeating Vesna Dolonts, of Russia, 6-4, 6-3 during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Venus Williams, of the United States, pumps her first after defeating Vesna Dolonts, of Russia, 6-4, 6-3 during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.

NEW YORK (AP) — Venus Williams pulled out of the U.S. Open shortly before her second-round match Wednesday, saying she was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.

The 31-year-old American, the champion at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001, played her first match in two months Monday, when she beat Vesna Dolonts 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Williams was supposed to face 22nd-seeded Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.

Williams had cited a virus when withdrawing from hard-court tuneup tournaments between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

"I enjoyed playing my first match here, and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to," Williams said in a statement released by the tournament. "I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon."

According to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation website, the disease is a chronic autoimmune illness in which people's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Common symptoms include dry eyes and dry mouth. As many as 4 million Americans have the disease.

Williams arrived at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Wednesday hours before her match was scheduled to begin and tried warming up by hitting balls.

When Williams left the site shortly before 5 p.m., wearing a white sweater and purple shorts, she was asked by reporters whether she would say anything. She smiled and waved and shook her head to indicate, "No," then climbed into the back of a tournament transportation car and rode away.

"All of us came with the full expectation she'd be playing today. She was geared up to play her match," said Williams' agent, Carlos Fleming.

"I just hope she's OK," Fleming added, "and I hope she's healthy and going to be fine."

Despite having won seven Grand Slam singles titles, Williams was unseeded at the U.S. Open because her ranking has fallen to 36th after a year of little action. Since reaching the semifinals at last year's U.S. Open, Williams has played only 11 matches, and the WTA projects that her ranking will slide out of the top 100.

Her younger sister Serena, a 13-time Grand Slam champion, is scheduled to play her second-round match Thursday.

After her victory Monday, Venus Williams was asked about the illness that caused her to skip tournaments this summer. She said that night she had been diagnosed, but wouldn't say with what.

"It was just energy-sucking, and I just couldn't play pro tennis," she said Monday. "It was disappointing, because I had huge plans for this summer, of course, to improve my ranking. To miss out on all those points was definitely devastating. Just to miss so much time off tour was just disheartening. But I'm just really excited to be back."

Lisicki said she saw Venus Williams on the practice courts and in the locker room and expected to play their match — until the tournament referee passed along the news of the withdrawal.

"She's a tough girl, and I think she'll come back. You know, it would be unfortunate if she couldn't," Lisicki said. "Serena and Venus both are amazing players, and it's nice to have them in the women's sport. I hope she comes back."

___

AP National Writer Eddie Pells and AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

  • SportsMore>>

  • No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

    No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:57 AM EDT2018-06-23 07:57:05 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Arizona's DeAndre Ayton speaks to reporters during a media availability with the top basketball prospects in the NBA Draft, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in New York.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer). Arizona's DeAndre Ayton speaks to reporters during a media availability with the top basketball prospects in the NBA Draft, Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in New York.
    It could be a big night for big men in the NBA draft. 
    It could be a big night for big men in the NBA draft. 
  • Mavs go Euro with rebuild again, trading up for Luka Doncic

    Mavs go Euro with rebuild again, trading up for Luka Doncic

    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-06-23 07:56:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen). Luka Doncic, who plays for Real Madrid, poses for a picture with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after Doncic was picked third overall by the Atlanta Hawks during the NBA basketball draft in New York, Thursday, June 21, 2018.(AP Photo/Kevin Hagen). Luka Doncic, who plays for Real Madrid, poses for a picture with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after Doncic was picked third overall by the Atlanta Hawks during the NBA basketball draft in New York, Thursday, June 21, 2018.
    AP source: Dallas Mavericks swap picks to get versatile guard Luka Doncic. 
    AP source: Dallas Mavericks swap picks to get versatile guard Luka Doncic. 
  • Ichi-who? Suzuki sits on M's bench in fake mustache disguise

    Ichi-who? Suzuki sits on M's bench in fake mustache disguise

    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-06-23 07:56:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun). Ichiro Suzuki, special assistant to the chairman of the Seattle Mariners, wears a fake mustache and a hoodie as he sits in the dugout and watches the New York Yankees bat during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Ju...(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun). Ichiro Suzuki, special assistant to the chairman of the Seattle Mariners, wears a fake mustache and a hoodie as he sits in the dugout and watches the New York Yankees bat during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Ju...
    AP photos show Ichiro Suzuki hiding in fake mustache, glasses in dugout during game. 
    AP photos show Ichiro Suzuki hiding in fake mustache, glasses in dugout during game. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.