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Serena: “Venus is so inspiring for me”

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Originally published on: 28/05/12 00:00

Serena Williams says that the comeback by her sister Venus is proving an inspiration for her own career. While Venus can cement her place in the Olympic tennis tournament over the next fortnight in Paris, Serena will start the French Open as one of the favourites for the title.

Venus, who began her Roland Garros campaign with a hard-fought win over Argentina’s Paula Ormaechea, took six months away from the court after being diagnosed last summer with Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain. However, since returning in March she has climbed 81 places in the world rankings to No.53. She is now the third highest-ranked American, having been the tenth when she began her comeback.

“Everything that she’s doing is so inspiring for me,” Serena said. “To do what she’s doing and play a professional sport is, I think, a whole new level of mental strength. Every time she's not feeling well, I can't imagine personally being in that situation.”

She added: “I just don't know anyone out there who has gone through everything that she's gone through and just remains completely positive and yet still plays so well.”

The sisters share a house together and Serena has seen at first hand how Venus has coped with her condition. “It's never easy for anyone who's going through what she's going through,” she said.  “When she's around at the house we just spend time together. We motivate each other.

“I think that's what makes our relationship and makes us so good is the fact that we have always had one another throughout our career. Regardless of whether she's here or whether I'm here or whatever the case is, we always still have each other and support one another in our careers.”

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