A day after her sister, Serena Williams, had an emotional breakdown in a first-round defeat at the French Open, Venus Williams had a physical collapse that caused her exit in the second round. Not a good time for the sisters Williams.
Venus Williams fell in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, to No. 3-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland at renown Roland Garros. How’s this for the siblings’ mark of consistency: The early-round defeats mark the first time in 43 major tournaments with both in the field that neither Williams got to the third round.
Serena Williams clearly was emotionally distraught in losing to 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano of France in her opening match, shedding tears at one point. Venus Williams had her physical concerns. She had 33 unforced errors to just six for Radwanska. Ballgame.
”I felt like I played,” Williams said. ”That pretty much sums it up.”
She is playing with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain. And she did not have the energy and bounce she did in winning in the first round two days ago. She’s still dealing with the uncertainty of the disease. But she remains positive.
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”I don’t know if I ever asked myself, ‘Why me?’ I mean, obviously it’s frustrating at times,” she said. “I don’t know if there’s anything mental more I can do at this point, but there’s a lot of stages to go through with this kind of thing. There’s a lot of people who have it a lot worse than I do. I’m still playing a professional sport, so I have to be very positive. And I’m going to have ups and downs. I haven’t gotten to the ‘Why me?’ yet. I hope I never get to the ‘Why me?’ I’m not allowed to feel sorry for myself.”
She said she does not know how she will feel when she wakes up to start a new day.
”Every morning is different,” she said. “Some mornings, I don’t feel great, then it’s a better day than I thought it was going to be. I can’t automatically be discouraged. When I wake up, I just have to see how it goes. Sometimes I get a second wind. It’s just so hard to know.”
Williams revealed her diagnosis in late August at the U.S. Open, when she withdrew before her second-round match.