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Venus Williams pulls out of U.S. Open with illness

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Venus Williams, of the United States, against Vesna Dolonts, of Russia, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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NEW YORK >> Venus Williams pulled out of the U.S. Open shortly before her second-round match Wednesday, saying she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.

The 31-year-old American, the champion at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001, played her first match in two months Monday, when she beat Vesna Dolonts 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Williams was supposed to face 22nd-seeded Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.

Williams had cited a virus when withdrawing from hard-court tuneup tournaments between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

"I enjoyed playing my first match here, and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to," Williams said in a statement released by the tournament. "I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon."

 

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