Venus Williams ESPN: Tennis Star Bares All in Magazine's Body Issue

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIJune 23, 2014

Jun 23, 2014; London, United Kingdom; Venus Williams (USA) in action during her match against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) on day one of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Tennis star and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams will bare all in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue set to be released on July 11.     

According to ESPN.com, the 34-year-old will be one of the athletes featured in the popular Body Issue, along with fellow tennis player Tomas Berdych. Both are currently participating in this year's Wimbledon tournament. 

The complete list of athletes in this year's Body Issue will be announced Wednesday on ESPN.com. You can see the picture of Williams that will be used in the Body Issue below, courtesy of ESPN Tennis on Twitter:

Apparently, Williams didn't know that she would have to be completely nude for the photo shoot, according to an interview she had with ESPN The Magazine's Morty Ain.

"It didn't dawn on me until right when I walked on set that I would have to be without clothes," Williams told Ain. "If I would have thought about it before, there may have been a little less of a chance."

ROME, ITALY - MAY 11:  Venus Williams visits the Rolex corperate hospitality tent during day one of theInternazionali BNL d'Italia 2014  on May 11, 2014 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

While still one of the more popular tennis players in the world, Venus hasn't been able to win a Grand Slam title since winning at Wimbledon back in 2008. One of the big reasons for that has been due to her ongoing battle with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, which forced her to miss over six months from 2011 to 2012, per the ESPN.com report.

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During Williams' interview with Ain for the Body Issue, Williams opened up about her battle with Sjogren's syndrome and discussed the impact it has had on her training:

In the past, I would train until I died. Now, because of Sjogren's syndrome, I have to be careful. If I train too hard, then I won't be able to do anything the next day. There would be times when I'd park my car at home and I fell asleep behind the wheel because I was so tired! It's a balance between pushing myself as much as I can and being reasonable about what I can achieve and what my body will tolerate.

At my worst point, I wasn't able to play tennis at all. Just the whole quality of my life was compromised -- and uncomfortable.

Williams is still trying to earn another Grand Slam title to add to her total of seven.

Currently ranked No. 31 in the world in women's singles, she is hoping to make a run at this year's Wimbledon, which began on Monday. She was able to win her first-round match 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, but she'll have some more work to do before it's over.

ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue is always a unique way to feature athletes, and this upcoming edition will be no different. Now, Williams will direct her focus to the grass courts in London as she challenges for her sixth Wimbledon title in her decorated career.


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