Venus: It’s a big victory to be back
Originally published on: 25/06/12 00:00
A glass half-full type of gal, Venus Williams refused to be despondent after her 6-1 6-3 defeat to Russia’s Elena Vesnina.
Diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an auto-immune condition which causes fatigue, late last year, the 32-year-old American considers herself fortunate just to have been able to compete at this year’s Championships.
“[It’s] definitely a big victory to be back [at The All England Club],” she said. “A lot of people wouldn't even have the opportunity to even come back, so I'm grateful for this opportunity. With each day that passes, that means I have another chance. If the sun comes up, I have a chance.
“So I have to make good on that chance, prepare the best I possibly can, see what that day brings, continue being positive, continue figuring out how to live my life and figure out how to play sport in this life.”
Williams returned to the game earlier than expected, at Miami’s Sony Ericsson Open in March, in a bid to improve her ranking sufficiently for a place in the Olympics. She did just that, reaching the quarter-finals in Key Biscayne, Charleston and Rome, three of the five events she has played on her comeback.
“I'm really proud of my efforts to get my ranking up for the Olympics,” Williams said, adding: “That's one of the toughest things I've ever done in my life.”
The five-time Wimbledon champion has won three Olympic gold medals – in singles and doubles at the Sydney Games in 2000 and in doubles in Beijing in 2008. She won’t play in another competitive tournament until the Olympic event itself, but has high hopes of success and insists she won't dwell on her latest defeat.
“I don’t have time to be negative,” she said. “I don’t know if you’ve had any negative experiences but it’s not fun. I like to use the same time to be positive because it feels a whole lot better. It’s easier to be productive when you're positive, so that's what I work on.”