Sadly, after participating in the first round of the US Open, Venus Williams announced today that she'll be pulling out of the competition before her second match due to a debilitating illness.
She released a statement shortly after withdrawing from her match against 22nd-seeded German Sabine Lisicki, saying:
"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.
I enjoyed playing my first match here and I 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."
We hope the same. We know you didn't play very much this summer, but we had no idea it was something so serious. Hopefully, you'll be feeling better soon and you'll be back on the courts with even greater determination.
Stay strong, girl!
[Image via WENN.]