Venus Williams Newly Revealed Illness Causes U.S. Open Pull Out
Williams' opens up to GMA about new diagnosis
In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America today, Venus Williams talked about her decision to pull out of the U.S. Open just days after playing her first match in two months saying, “It was a tough decision, I’ve had to come to except what I’m going through."
The 31-year-old seven time Grand Slam champion revealed Wednesday that she was recently diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain.
According to the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation website, the disease is a chronic autoimmune illness in which people's white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Common symptoms include dry eyes and dry mouth. As many as 4 million Americans have the disease.
Williams said she’s been battling symptoms of fatigue and joint swelling for about four years, but was recently diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome a few weeks ago. She also has common symptoms of dry eyes and dry mouth. “Its a huge relief for me. Now I know what’s happening to me,” she said.
Just minutes before taking the court for her second match, Williams said she was having trouble moving her arms. This prompted her abrupt decision to pull out of the match, she told GMA.
Despite all of her past success, including a brief stint at No. 1 in the rankings, Williams was unseeded at the U.S. Open, because she has fallen to 36th after a year of little action. Since reaching the semifinals at last year's U.S. Open, Williams has played only 11 matches, and the WTA projects that her ranking now will slide out of the top 100.
But Williams remains optimistic. "I’m not exactly sure what my journey will be, but I feel positive about getting back on the court and getting back to normal"
To watch the full interview HERE.