American hopeful Venus Williams withdraws from the US Open Wednesday shortly before her second-round match against German Sabine Lisicki. Reason for the withdrawal is an autoimmune disease called Sjogren's Syndrome, which causes fatigue and joint pain.
The two-time US Open champion showed her frustration about the situation in a statement released by the tournament. "I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to. I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon,” Williams said.
It is yet another setback for 31-year-old Venus Williams, whose disappointing year of 2011 continues. The American has appeared in only 11 matches, and has an 8-3 record. The mysterious virus that force Williams to withdraw from the hard court tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati can be found in about four million Americans.
The magnitude of Williams’ sudden withdrawal from the US Open will be seen over the next couple of days, but first and foremost, with Williams, America has lost its only hope of winning the tournament.
The first beneficiary of Williams being out of the pictures is 22nd-seeded Sabine Lisicki, who gets a bye and advances to the third round. The 21-year-old German, who won 23 out of her last 27 matches, would have represented a tough matchup for Williams.
On the other hand the quality of the women’s US Open field and the quality of women’s tennis as a whole has decreased dramatically with one of their most prominent and most talented players gone.