Venus Williams: Career May Be Fading but Williams' Legacy Stands Strong
Is this the beginning of the end of the great Venus Williams’ professional tennis career, or is it just another bump of adversity through which she will persevere?
That is going to be the question that will permeate the minds of the tennis world through the U.S. Open and beyond, but the answers may not be known for a while.
Or, perhaps they will be known, but refused to be acknowledged.
Either way, this isn’t a good situation for Williams.
Williams came into the U.S. Open brimming with optimism and looking ready to go, and there were not many people doubting that she would make a strong run through the tournament, if not push for the win.
It’s scary how fast things can change.
With less than an hour left before her second-round match against Sabine Lisicki, Williams withdrew due to illness.
This was shocking news considering that she seemed to be on the up-and-up and had recovered from a tough year that saw her battle injuries and sickness. According to Greg Garber of ESPN, Williams later made an announcement that may change the face of women’s tennis as we know it:
"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."
Can Venus Williams' Career Recover?
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.
Some 4 million Americans are afflicted with the condition, and nine of 10 are women.
It is a shocking discovery and is not just disappointing for her fans, but for tennis fans in general.
Venus Williams is good for the sport of tennis, so it will be quite a blow when we eventually have to say goodbye.
What makes it worse is that she seems to be burning out rather than fading away, which makes this incredibly hard to watch.
It is important to note that the disease isn’t necessarily career threatening, but it will impact her conditioning and overall stamina during a match. Williams is no spring chicken, either, so I can’t imagine that we will see many more epic recoveries from the superstar.
It is truly a sad day for tennis, and even though Venus may be nearing the end of his career, she has left us with incredible memories.
She’s won 41 WTA tour titles, seven grand slams and two Olympic gold medals. Considering that she turned professional at just age 14, those are grand accomplishments
Venus Williams is one of the best ever, and this won’t change any of that.
When I think of tennis, it is hard for me to not think of Venus and her sister Serena. The Williams' sisters revolutionized women’s tennis into the sport it is today, and they made a great impact off the court as well.
Venus is a winner in every arena of her life, and even though she may be dwindling, I will always remember her as a star.
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