Standard tennis player Venus Williams, a five-time Wimbledon champion, on Wednesday took her name off from the season-opening Brisbane International stating that she is suffering an “unexpected setback” in training. Former World No. 1 Venus, 39, is prepping for the Australian Open on January 20, but seems to have experienced an injury now due to which she can’t participate in Brisbane. But the world number 52, Venus is still hoping to play in Adelaide (which begins on January 13) before the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, according to a BBC report.

The tournament begins on January 6. World No 1 Ashleigh Barty and Australian Open winner Naomi Osaka are among the strong contenders, and Venus Williams withdrew her name due to injury.

The 39-year-old won the last of her seven Grand Slam singles titles in 2008. In the Australian Open 2017, Venus scripted history by becoming the oldest Grand Slam semi-finalist in 23 years. It was Venus’ first semi-final at the Australian Open in 14 years. She is still in her late-career revival and now the pressure is going higher every match she plays in.

Key Takeaways:

  • Venus Williams has pulled out of the upcoming Brisbane International, cites ‘setback’ in training
  • Venus was given a wild card for the Brisbane event, hopes to play in Adelaide before the Australian Open
  • The tournament begins on January 6. World No 1 Ashleigh Barty and Australian Open winner Naomi Osaka are among the strong contenders

READ: 83-Yr-Old Granny Is A Tennis Champ

“Unfortunately, I won’t be starting my season in Brisbane due to an unexpected setback during my training,” Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam winner who was handed a wildcard for the event, said in a statement. “I look forward to being in Australia in the New Year and will see everyone at Adelaide.”

Venus—between 1998 and 2005—won 33 of her 44 career titles. But since then—in the next seven years—the American has captured just 11, including none in 2011.

Opening up about retirement and targeting Tokyo 2020, Venus had earlier said, “I’m kind of targeting the next Olympics [Tokyo 2020], and that’s in, what, three-and-a-half years … and I’m not counting!” ESPN reported.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” she has told the press. “I definitely have the will, so I think I will keep finding the way. I feel like I’m going to get more [wins] as the future goes on.”

Venus was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes debilitating joint pain, swelling and numbness. She is a four-time Olympic gold medallist (one singles and three doubles with sister Serena).

Venus was given a wild card for the Brisbane event, hopes to play in Adelaide before the Australian Open

The New York Times asked Williams in August about what routine she thinks she should be adapting at this stage in her career; she replied “maybe I just stretch more.” “If I could, I would stretch, like 30-45 minutes,” Williams says. “But, sometimes I don’t have as much time as I’d like.”

Meanwhile, she is also an entrepreneur, the CEO of her own interior design firm as well as the athletic apparel line EleVen. Williams and her sister are also part-owners of the Miami Dolphins.

READ: Fed Cup Doubles: Serena Returns with Sister, Olympia Watches Mum

Feature Image Credit: sport.ahram.org.eg

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