From my column at FoxSports.com
We’re not ready for tennis’ Great American Story to end. Venus Williams deserves one last good run, one more major championship, one more leap of glory.
She’s not going to get it.
Williams is 31 years old, a senior citizen to tennis, and her body is breaking down. Injuries and health issues are taking her away from the game. On Wednesday, she withdrew from the US Open an hour before her second-round match against young German Sabine Lisicki, a Wimbledon semifinalist.
She later issued a statement saying she had 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 wish I could continue, but right now I am unable to.”
She said she was just glad to finally know what’s wrong. With Sjogren’s, which usually affects women, white blood cells attack healthy glands. The disease is manageable.
But Williams’ body is betraying her now. It’s that time. And it’s just so hard for any athlete, especially a superstar, to accept. That body has always done what it was supposed to do, climbed every mountain, won every Wimbledon. It was there to be counted on, perfected.
Now, Williams has lost nearly two years of tennis because of it. She will drop out of the top 100 in the rankings, mixed in with a group of players no one has ever heard of.
Please read the rest of the column here