Venus Williams, in her first Grand Slam match since revealing in August she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, overcame a slow start Sunday to beat 19-year-old Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
The seven-time major champion did not look excited to be on the court, hardly smiling after many of her 41 winners. But Williams, 31, laughed a lot during her news conference, especially when she discussed her health as ”definitely an adventure and journey; it’s life happening.”
An autoimmune disease is a case of mistaken identity, when the body begins attacking its own healthy tissue. Autoimmune conditions include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
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”A lot of it, I have to figure it out. It’s physical and emotional and all kinds of different things. Mental,” Williams said of her medical condition. ”It’s a big accomplishment for me to be here right now.”