Venus Williams may have lost her match in Charleston today, but it's clear that she hasn't lost any of her spirit or her champion's attitude. Finally diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome after suffering for years with symptoms of the disorder, Williams took several months off. She then began treatment and learned how to manage her illness.
"My whole mentality is so different now," Williams said earlier this week. "Like before, I knew I could win matches, and now I just don't even know what's going to happen when I walk on the court....So I always feel like I'm stepping into the unknown." Williams said that the physical part of her rehab has been more difficult than the mental part: "It's definitely something I live with every day, and every day I have to be stronger mentally than the next player," she said after today's match. "I have to push myself a lot more."
Williams has set a goal of competing at the 2012 Olympic Games, and said today that she believes she will meet that goal.
The five-time Wimbledon champion acknowledged that finally having a diagnosis means "I'm not in the dark anymore."