In a shocking announcement yesterday, Venus Williams disclosed that she has been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome.
“I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from this year’s US Open. I have been recently diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which is an ongoing medical condition that affects my energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain,” Venus said in a statement.
“I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to. I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon.”
Today, Venus made a visit to ABC’s Good Morning America where the 7-time Grand Slam winner opened up about the affliction which forced her to withdraw from the US Open.
“It’s a huge relief because as an athlete everything is physical for me — everything is being fit and being in shape,” she told Elizabeth Vargas. “I think the best thing that could have happened for me this summer was to feel worse so I could feel better.”
Venus said that she feels relieved to finally know why she’s had issues with low energy, joint pain and swelling. Venus plans to take up the cause and bring awareness to Sjogren’s Syndrome which impacts over four million people.
“Sjogren’s is something you live with your whole life,” Williams said. “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.”
Venus, who has only played four events this season, will undergo treatment for the next four to six months and she plans on returning to tennis full time.
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