Venus refuses to walk away
Venus Williams has vowed to bounce back from her latest setback, which saw her bundled out in the first round at the All England Club for the first time since her maiden appearance in 1997.
The five-time Wimbledon champion’s tournament last just one hour and 15 minutes as she was crushed in straight sets by unheralded Russian Elena Vesnina, who claimed an impressive 6-1, 6-3 success on Court Two.
Williams has slumped to 58th in the world rankings since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome - an auto-immune disease which has had a major effect on her health - and last week younger sister Serena was forced to deny rumours she was set to retire.
However, the 32-year-old American refused to use her condition as an excuse and reiterated she has no plans to hang up her racquet any time soon.
“I come into tournaments with a positive attitude,” Williams said. “I don’t really feel like talking about my health now. It is what it is. I’m just a couple of months into getting back on tour. Life is challenging but I’m always up for a challenge.”
Asked whether she would be back at Wimbledon next year, Venus Williams said: “I’m planning on it.
“I feel like I’m a great player. I am a great player. There’s no way I’m just going to give up. That’s just not me.”
Vesnina could hardly believe her achievement as she danced with joy at securing a second round clash with No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.
Williams got off to a horror start, dropping the opening five games to her 79th-ranked opponent. The former world No.1 slowly improved and had game point for 3-3 in the second set, however, she threw it away by overshooting the baseline, the match going the same way not long after.