Venus Williams: “It was a tough decision” to Withdraw From US Open
Tennis Star Venus Williams, who surprisingly withdrew from the US Open and revealed Wednesday that she had been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome, said she “absolutely” plans to return to tennis.
“I think I’ve had issues with Sjogren’s for a while. It just wasn’t diagnosed,” Williams said. “The good news for me is now I know what’s happening.”
Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome two weeks ago – after years of being misdiagnosed with other conditions. “For years I felt that I didn’t have enough stamina and then, four years ago, I felt like I was not getting enough air but I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma,” she said. “The medicine for asthma never worked.”
“I had swelling and numbness and fatigue, which was really debilitating. I just didn’t have any energy and it’s not that you don’t have energy; you just feel beat up.”
On dropping out of the US open she revealed that the decision wasn’t easy, “… I just felt like, ‘Okay, I could walk out on the court. I’m a tough woman, I’m a tough athlete, I’ve played through a lot of things.’ But what kind of match it would be?” she said. “It was a tough decision, but at the same time I’ve had to come to accept what I’m going through.”
On finally having to explain her mysterious, debilitating symptoms, ”It’s a huge relief because as an athlete everything is physical for me — everything is being fit and being in shape. I think the best thing that could have happened for me this summer was to feel worse so I could feel better.”
Check out the interview below
FYI: Sjogren’s syndrome is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. Symptoms may include, joint pain, swelling, numbness and fatigue.