California: The former World No 1 and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, Venus Williams is preparing for a return to tennis during the North American hard-court season, and she is drawing inspiration from her sister, Serena Williams.
Venus talked about her injury issues over the last year in a new video broadcast to her YouTube account over the weekend, calling competing at the WTA 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami a “big goal.”
In the video, Williams, 43, spoke for the first time about the knee injury that left her hobbling off Centre Court at Wimbledon last summer (she fell in the second game of her first-round match against Elina Svitolina).
Following her early departure at Wimbledon, Williams stated that the persisting swelling and soreness hampered her ability to exercise — and even walk — in preparation for matches in Montreal, Cincinnati, and the US Open.
“I don’t talk a lot about my injuries because I hate complaining,” Venus said as quoted by WTA.
She described the cartilage injury she sustained as one of the “craziest” ailments she has attempted to play through in her long and illustrious career.
“I felt terrible about that, because when I give my word, I keep it. When I said I was going to Cleveland, I meant it, and the fact I had to withdraw, I felt miserable because that’s not me. I do what I say I’m going to do,” she said.
The setback against the Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen in the first round of the US Open prompted an “honest conversation” with herself, according to Williams, and made her recognise that returning to tennis ready to compete would be a marathon rather than a sprint. But Serena’s powerful statements also helped, ensuring that fans will get another chance to watch her in action later this year.
“One of my big goals is to play United States, to play in the Miami Open and at Indian Wells. I have not played there since 2019 due to injuries. It’s a long time. ... It’s a lot of years not to play at home. So that’s of course one of my big goals on the horizon, is to be there, prepare to do that. Amongst many goals on the court, too,” Venus said.
“My little sister, Serena, told me I’m not allowed to quit, and of course, I would never quit,” “But it’s the mandate. She said no, so I will be back on the court,” she said.