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Is it Time for Venus Williams to Retire Her Tennis Racquet?

Wednesday August 1, 2012 

While her sister, Serena, is playing strong, Venus Williams is on a losing streak. Is it time for her to retire her tennis racquet?

Although Venus Williams played strong in the first two rounds of singles this week in the London Olympics, she lost her third-round match today against Germany`s Angelique Kerber saying,  “I made a few errors and she hit a few winners, and things can go quickly in tennis.”

Her loss could be due to the fact that she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease leaving Williams feeling fatigued. Although she was only diagnosed with the condition in 2011, she wasn`t feeling herself for years but was misdiagnosed.

“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.”

Despite the struggles, Venus is about to be the first American tennis player to compete in four Olympics and said that she is planning to play in the 2016 Rio Games.

By 2016, Venus will be 36 and many tennis players retire before their late thirties and while some continue playing for years after, a health problem like Sjogren’s syndrome won`t help her performance however; Venus is hopeful saying, “It makes me want to get up and fight harder every day.”

Venus also lost in the opening round of Wimbledon only about a month ago and although loosing is always a part of the game, Williams has not had a first round loss since her first time at the legendary tournament. She also suffered  a second round loss at the French Open.

Could this be her body`s way of telling her it`s time to settle down? I admire both of the Williams sisters talent and what makes them even more admirable is that both have suffered health problems and have continued to compete in the game; Serena even took home the title in this year`s Wimbledon. Although the losing streak might signal that retirement is near for Venus, it is  hard for me to feel sorry for either of the tennis star sisters.

We all saw Serena yell at the chair umpire at the US Open Finals in 2011 which she was fined $2,000 for (I think she can afford it) and verbally abused a lineswoman at the 2009 US Open.

Player John McEnroe publically stated that both of the sisters have a bad attitude saying, “Enough is enough… Would it kill them to say hello to people in the locker room?”

“What they have achieved is great, but they have no respect for anyone in the game,” and McEnroe is not the only one who feels that the sisters do not deserve the status they have in women`s tennis.

I`d have to say I agree with McEnroe. They both have amazing talent but their arrogant attitude makes both of them hard to root for. I guess in cheering for the USA in this year`s Olympics I am somewhat supporting the sisters but beyond that, I won`t be rooting for either in tournaments to come.


Health Scares for the Tennis Star Sisters

Tennis pros and sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, have had their share of health issues. After an 8 month recovery stint, to nurse a foot injury, the younger sister, Serena, ended up in the hospital due to a blot clot in her lungs. In the hospital, Serena was rushed into surgery for a hematoma.

Since then, older sister, Venus, was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known as Sjogren`s Syndrome, with the most common symptoms being dry eyes and a dry mouth. Those complications seem minor but Sjogren`s can also cause joint pain, swelling, numbness and fatigue.

Experienceing these symptoms would be difficult for any person, especially a professional athlete. Because of these symptoms, Venus had no choice but to drop out of the U.S. Open. In an interview on Good Morning America, Williams discussed her health problems, “I had swelling and numbness and fatigue, which was really debilitating. I just didn’t have any energy,” Williams said. “And it’s not that you don’t have energy; you just feel beat up.”

Although getting diagnosed with such a serious disease is difficult, Serena is hopeful now that she has an explanation for feeling the way she did. “I think I’ve had issues with Sjogren’s for a while. It just wasn’t diagnosed… The good news for me is now I know what’s happening.”

Sjogren`s Syndrom can be managed with treatment, but the tennis star is also helping herself by changing her diet, including less meat and much more vegetables. With the new and improved lifestyle, Serena says, “My goal next year is to play a full schedule. It will take some work to get there, but I’m no stranger to hard work.”