Venus Williams shocked the tennis world when she abruptly withdrew from the US Open prior to her second round match against Sabine Lisicki. Media were first reporting the reason was an unspecified illness and soon it was defined as Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which had been bothering the tennis champion for quite some time but has been diagnosed only recently, when more symptoms occurred.
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.
The 31-year-old Williams said she "absolutely" plans to play tennis again, even though there is no cure for her health problem.
Sjogren's is something you live with your whole life. The good news for me is now I know what's happening after spending years not knowing… I feel like I can get better and move on.
(source: Australian Open, photo: © Neal Trousdale)