Venus excited ahead of Fed Cup return
Originally published on: 02/02/12 10:57
Venus Williams has revealed her excitement at returning to competitive tennis ahead of the U.S. team’s Fed Cup battle with Belarus this weekend.
The former world No.1 has not played a competitive tennis match since pulling out of the US Open in round two five months ago as a result of an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain.
Her fight against Sjogren’s Syndrome saw her withdraw from both Auckland and the Australian Open this year but after practicing with the American team on Wednesday she is thrilled to be returning to competition again.
“I think just being on a team and just having some adrenaline just gives me even more energy, to be honest,” Williams told the press. “I need to be on a team every week and not at home.”
The seven-time Grand Slam champion played just four events last year, but she remains a real asset for the American side, said Fed Cup team captain Mary Joe Fernandez.
“Just to have her around is such a big motivator for the rest of the team. There’s a lot of excitement. I think Venus was thrilled and she was itching to get out there and hit that first ball,” said Fernandez.
“I think that goes such a long way. The ripple effect of everybody seeing it – just seeing the desire, the determination – it rubs off. It was great to see Venus out there this morning hitting well and working hard.”
Fernandez also has Serena Williams, World No.1 doubles player Liezel Huber, Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens to call on for the match against Belarus, who will field Australian Open champion and new world No.1 Victoria Azarenka.