Is this the end of the road for Venus? The American's
last-minute withdrawal from her second round match with Sabine Lisicki does not
bode well at all.
She's suffering from Sjogren's Syndrome, a chronic disease
where white blood cells attack moisture-producing glands resulting in fatigue
and joint pain. That's not ideal for a professional athlete.
It's something that has clearly hampered her for some time.
"I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now
focused on getting better and returning to the court soon," she said.
The words 'finally' indicate this has been a long-term
problem - and long-term problems have a habit of refusing to go away in a
At least it has been diagnosed and hopefully now it can be
treated, but Andy Roddick - someone who knows Venus and her sister well -
voiced his concern, perhaps unwittingly, by talking as if she had already
announced her retirement from the sport.
"A lot of times they've drawn a lot of criticism but,
trust me, five years, when they're gone, everyone is going to miss them (the
Williams sisters)," Roddick said.
"Everyone is going to realise they're going to be
living legends for the rest of their lives. Venus is just the epitome of class,
the way she's gone about it. I don't think she's ever even had a sniff of
controversy around her. She's just done it the right way."
She has, and despite her problems, she still looked good in
her opening match the other night - good enough to have made a decent run at
the title at Flushing Meadows.
That won't happen now; she hasn't the stamina. But,
fortunately, as she has shown over the years during her battles on the court,
she won't give up this latest challenge easily.
- - -
Fan of the day:
The slightly overweight, sweaty man who was dancing inappropriately with blonde
girls in between games during Andy Roddick's clash with Michael Russell. He
kept the crowd on Arthur Ashe entertained in a way that Cliff Richard would
never be able to.
Winner of the day:
Not a shot, but a man. Brazilian Rogerio Dutra da Silva was sat around in the
locker room until five minutes before Robin Soderling's clash with Louk
Sorensen when the Swede withdrew through illness, handing Da Silva his big
chance. The 27-year-old, who had never made the main draw of a Grand Slam,
turned out to be the luckiest of lucky losers when a few hours later he found
himself in the second round, the luck of the Irish having deserted Sorensen who
was forced to retire with cramp in his thumb, arm and calf.
Quote of the day:
"He's full of piss and vinegar. He's from Nebraska. Sounds a little like
an 18-year-old I knew once upon a time." Andy Roddick on his next
opponent, the marvellously-named teenager Jack Sock.
Roger Federer is back in action on Thursday, against Dudi Sela, looking to
notch up his 225th Grand Slam win while Novak Djokovic can record his 59th win
of the season if he beats Carlos Berlocq. And let's not forget Serena Williams
or Caroline Wozniacki, both of whom are back on court.
Caption competition: This is Yanina Wickmayer. Post your entries below.