Venus Williams looked like a shadow of her former self during the first round of Wimbledon 2012.
At one time, the former world No. 1 and current No. 58 dominated the competition at the All England Club. She has won the Grand Slam tournament five times. However, in 2012, she fell to unseeded Elena Vesnina 1-6, 3-6.
In interviews after the match, Williams meekly answered that (via ESPN) “[she feels] like [she’s] a great player”—not too definitive from the former champ, raising the question as to how much longer she will play.
Although Williams announced in August at the U.S. Open that she has been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition that can cause fatigue and joint pain, her poor performance at Wimbledon this year seems more to do with a mental block.
In her match against Vesnina, Williams’ serve crumbled. She made only 38 percent of her first serves.
While she will definitely have to work on her service technique, Williams will also have to improve her confidence. She is set to play in the 2012 Summer Olympics for the U.S. later this month, and if she wants to be a contender for the gold, she’ll need to get over her mental block because her technique and strokes are waiting for her.